Sweden prepares large-scale military center in Östersund

The last obstacle to Sweden’s entry into NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has been removed. The Hungarian Parliament ratified its application for membership this Monday, after more than a year and a half of waiting. The Nordic country is already preparing a military center for the allies in Östersund.

First modification: 02/27/2024 – 10:31

1 min

With RFI special envoy to Östersund, Carlotta Morteo

Sweden, a historically non-aligned country, had wanted to join the alliance since Russia invaded Ukraine. The Swedish government has already rethought its defense plans to adapt them to NATO’s needs. An example is Östersund, a small city in the center of the country, destined to become a military center for the Allies.

From north to south, from west to east, all trains lead to Östersund, a railway and road junction of great importance since on the other side of the snow-capped mountains is Trondheim, Norway.

“The ice-free port of Trondheim is a gateway to the Nordic zone for NATO. It houses huge (NATO) warehouses, the US Marines and the headquarters of the Norwegian Air Force,” explains Erik Essen, military coordinator of the city.

The challenge is to quickly modernize infrastructure to transport tanks and hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the Arctic, Finland and even the Baltics.

“What will happen if Russia wins in Ukraine? What will it do next? Will it attack the West?” asks Niklas Daoson, mayor of Östersund.

“Five years ago, no one would have believed that Sweden could be dragged into a war. Now it is a possibility, it could happen. So we have to use the time we have left to rebuild a credible defense, for the country and as a member of NATO “Daoson continues.

Around 60% of Swedes support their country’s decision to join NATO. Sweden does not fear a direct attack, but it does fear that Moscow will one day test the strength of the Alliance in its neighborhood. That is why it is preparing to become a central logistical link in the defense of NATO’s northeastern front.

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