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Defence Minister Haglund: Finland wouldn’t organise a submarine hunt "farce"

Finland’s Defence Minister Carl Haglund has hit the headlines in Sweden after saying the Swedish military’s recent search for "foreign underwater activity" off Stockholm was a "farce". He said Finland would strive to avoid a similar situation.

Carl Haglund.
Carl Haglund has been in the news in Sweden after appearing to criticise Sweden's handling of a recent search for foreign submersibles. Image: Yle

Defence Minister Carl Haglund appears to have criticised Sweden’s handling of suspected underwater activity by a foreign power. In an interview with Yle’s Swedish language service, Haglund said his approach would differ markedly to that taken by the Swedish authorities during a recent hunt for a submersible or submarine in the Stockholm archipelago.

“If sightings cannot be confirmed, we won’t organize a farce,” said Haglund. “That is not the way to improve the credibility of our defence, and we wouldn’t want to demonstrate to anyone who might be in our waters what kind of capabilities we have to observe what happens on the coastline. There could therefore be good reasons to avoid any publicity.”

His comments have caused a stir in Sweden, where the week-long hunt made global headlines. Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist told Svenska Dagbladet that he did not want to comment on Haglund’s statements, but that Sweden had in his opinion performed a serious search operation to ensure their territorial integrity.

The Swedish military called off the search for the underwater vessel on Friday.

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