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Sweden aims to prepare critical infrastructure for potential war with Russia - Bloomberg

Sweden aims to prepare critical infrastructure for potential war with Russia - Bloomberg Sweden wants to prepare critical infrastructure in case of war with Russia (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Sweden wants to prepare for a possible military conflict with Russia, so the country needs to modernize its ports, roads, rail networks, hospitals and shelters, according to Bloomberg.

Sweden wants to restore operation of old power plant

The agency writes that the mothballed power plant near the Eresund Strait was planned to be dismantled and sent to new owners abroad. However, after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the government changed the country's defense policy and is now forcing a rethink of energy security plans.

The Swedish grid operator wants the Malmö facility to be back online so that it can keep the lights on in the country's third-largest city in the event of a blackout following an attack on the national energy infrastructure.

Bloomberg writes that Sweden's energy infrastructure is particularly vulnerable due to its geographic location.

Sweden fears sabotage

About 16 thousand kilometers of power lines that help connect production in the north with major cities in the south run through dense forests.

According to Vera van Zoest, a senior lecturer at the Swedish Defense University, this makes the power system more open to sabotage than in many other European countries, and Sweden should be prepared for disruptions.

"Critical infrastructure, like for example the electricity grid, is often a main target in times of war," van Zoest says.

Sweden developing civil defense sector

By the end of 2028, about 1,000 qualified Swedes are to be called up to protect the energy supply as part of their mandatory civilian duty. This is a form of national service that was discontinued after the Cold War but reintroduced this year.

These people will build stronger fences and increase monitoring of the power system. The Swedish government has budgeted about 5.5 billion kronor ($510 million) for civil defense in 2024, almost three times more than in 2021.

Recently, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that countries should be more like Finland, which borders Russia and has built and maintained a robust civil defense infrastructure for decades. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has already taken this into account.

Military conflict between Russia and NATO members is possible

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Western countries became concerned about their security, and some of them suggested that Russia could attack NATO members.

Estonian intelligence has said that Russia is already preparing for the next war. This is likely to be a conflict with NATO within the next ten years.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said that a war between Russia and NATO is possible, and the Baltic states could be at risk. A confrontation is possible if Ukraine does not resist.