Cites threat of assassinations and to constitutions through disinformation and stoking tensions
Sweden’s security service, Säkerhetspolisen (SAPO), issued a statement saying
Russia poses a serious threat to Sweden’s security. The security police identified three sectors where there is reason to be particularly vigilant to counter espionage and sabotage: energy supply, telecoms and transport of critical supplies.
It anticipates Russian intelligence activities and other security-threatening activities to increase and says attacks against these sectors in Sweden could damage the rest of Europe too.
Not just the Russian state
SAPO says such attacks are now more likely to be through unofficial means, such as the Russian diaspora, institutions and companies in Sweden, as well as cyberattacks to acquire information. It notes Russian regime is unpredictable and poses a serious threat to Sweden’s internal security.
SAPO also warns against Russian-backed activities like sabotage, disinformation or the regime’s use of violent extremists to destabilise Swedish society. It believes that developments in the outside world contribute to a wider constitutional threat: Russia sees Sweden as part of Europe and part of NATO, hence “We can expect that Russian security-threatening activities against Sweden will increase”, Charlotte von Essen, the Security Police Chief says [translated from the Swedish].
She adds [also translated], “The development means that the threat of assassination and the threat to our constitution can arise from widespread extremism. This development plays into the hands of foreign power. If fewer people stand up for democracy, resistance and the will to defend are at of risk decreasing.”