Sweden has been a peaceful country for many years, but it has decided to undertake military exercises with the United States and Russia. Sweden sent a clear message to Russia: the Scandinavian Country is telling Vladimir Putin that it no longer stands alone. Almost 20,000 Swedish soldiers have joined forces with US and NATO military in air, land and sea military training. Aurora 17 will last three weeks and it will take place around the Baltic island of Gotland and the regions around Stockholm and Goteborg. Russians state that this is aggressive behavior, according to Express UK.

Moscow also claims that these military drills are not necessary because Russia is not interested in attacking other countries.

Sweden thinks that Russia is a danger

The Scandinavian nation states that Russians have been increasing their military power and that they have also violated the air space of Sweden many times. Peter Hultqvist, the Swedish Defense Minister, states that the military force that controls Gotland, controls the sea and the airspace towards the Baltic nations. He added that the population of his country and other nations believe this is a very serious issue.

The end of Swedish neutrality

He also said that there is a need for a U.S. presence in the area. Sweden might join NATO given that the Scandinavian country has remained neutral for more than 100 years.

Vladimir Putin believes that if Sweden joins NATO, that will be a negative step in the relationships of both countries. Finland is another country that doesn't belong to NATO, but its military will join soldiers from Denmark, Lithuania, France, Estonia, Norway, and the US. There is increasing tension in the Baltic region.

Russia has a new policy

US Lieutenant-General Ben Hodges stated that Russia has a new military policy, according to Reuters. Therefore, military forces from the NATO have been deployed in the countries that have a border with Russia. This crisis became worse after Putin occupied a part of Ukraine, and annexed Crimea a few years ago.

Former Soviet republics like Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are worried about an expansionist Russia.

Zapad 2017

Russia and Belarus will have common military drills known as Zapad 2017. The opposition in Belarus thinks that Russia wants to use Zapad 2017 to have a permanent military presence in the country. Ursula von der Leyen, the German Defence Minister, stated that the military drills by Moscow could involve more than 100,000 soldiers. The Russian government answered by stating that it was a lie.