“An armed attack on Sweden cannot be ruled out”, claimed Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist.
It is understood that an extra 27 billion Swedish kronor ($3 billion, 2.6 billion euros) will be added to the country’s defence budget from 2021 to 2025.
The proposed spending rise, which still needs to be approved by parliament, would target all branches of the military and would see the number of personnel grow from 60,000 to 90,000.
According to local media, after the end of the Cold War, Sweden slashed military spending. That was a subject of debate for a long time, and the country’s parliament eventually decided on a turnaround following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Sweden reintroduced mandatory military service in 2017 and in January 2018, the non-Nato member reopened a garrison on the island of Gotland amid concerns about Russian intentions in Europe and the Baltic.
Hultqvist warned though that rebuilding the military would be a drawn out process and lamented that the previous “disarmament went too far,” calling on future leaders not to “repeat the mistakes” and maintain “stability”.