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Swedish Navy Reveals Activities of Russian 'Shadow Fleet' In Baltic Sea

Swedish Navy Reveals Activities of Russian 'Shadow Fleet' In Baltic Sea

The ships can be used in hybrid operations.

The Swedish Navy has confirmed for the first time that Russia's so-called “shadow fleet” in the Baltic Sea may be engaged in espionage. This was reported by SVT on April 23.

The Russian shadow fleet moves daily across the Baltic Sea with a cargo of several hundred thousand tons of petroleum products, the publication says. The Swedish Navy monitors these movements, and there are documents that indicate that some of these ships may be used for signal reconnaissance, that is, interception of communications.

Navy chief Eva Skoog Haslum said sailors sometimes discover antennas that do not belong to fishing vessels or other vessels. Therefore, it is suspected that what moves at sea “sometimes has other purposes associated with their activities.”

According to Haslum, what is happening now could become a tragedy both in the field of safety and the environment.

She noted that the ships could be used in hybrid operations, for example, a foreign ship could enter a Swedish port under the guise of searching for an emergency port in connection with an accident.

According to SVT, over the past year, Swedish authorities have been preparing for a similar turn of events due to the fact that at least one Russian “shadow tanker” had technical problems near Gotland.

The day before, at the EU meeting on defense and foreign affairs in Luxembourg, specific measures to stop these activities were discussed. According to Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, there is broad consensus that the Russian shadow fleet is a problem.

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