Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist accused his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu of spreading false information about Sweden's cooperation with NATO.
The Swedish Defense Minister commented on the words of Sergey Shoygu, who, while speaking at the board meeting of the Russia Defense Ministry on July 24, expressed Moscow’s concerns about integration of Finland and Sweden into NATO structures.
“What the Russian defense minister describes is a lie. NATO does not have unlimited access to Finish or Swedish territorial waters and airspace,” said Hultquist as quoted by the news outlet The Local .
“In May, a treaty was signed proving their [Finland and Sweden's] full participation in exercises conducted by the Alliance, including the possibility of using NATO’s command and control systems for troops and weapons. In return, NATO received unhindered access to the airspace and territorial waters of these countries,” said the Russian Defense Minister Shoygu as quoted by Interfax News Agency .
“Sweden is free of military alliances, and we make our own decisions. It was a false statement,” said the Swedish defense minister in response, adding that the entrance of any foreign vessel or aircraft into the territorial waters or airspace of Sweden is only possible after obtaining a special permit.
Finland and Sweden increased their military cooperation with NATO, although they are not part of the alliance.