"We proceed from the assumption that the contract will be endorsed, as there is a majority in favor of it," president of the Gotland Regional Council Björn Jansson said, as quoted by the Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet.
For Gotland Municipality, the deal may create extra jobs and imply a profit of up to 60 million SEK (roughly $6.5mln), which is deemed to be a "welcome contribution that makes life easier." Jansson admitted, however, that a government clearance is yet pending.
"Making security assessments is not our cup of tea, it is the government's thing," Björn Jansson said.
So far, the Swedish government has not expressed itself clearly on the issue. Whereas the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, Micael Bydén, was highly critical about security issues related to the lease of the port of Slite, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and Margot Wallström both expressed criticism about Nord Stream 2 in general, yet refrained from commenting on the appropriateness of renting Slite harbor.
Meanwhile, Gotland's plans on peaceful cooperation with the Russians stirred a lot of criticism in Sweden.
Karlis Neretnieks, former rector of the National Defense University, who previously identified Slite as a possible entry point for a Russian occupation of Gotland, stated that Gotlanders were nothing but naïve.
"They cannot see beyond the end of their noses," Karlis Neretnieks told the Swedish tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet.
According to Stig Henriksson, defense policy spokesperson for the Left Party, which is also against the pipeline, yet plainly for environmental reasons, the Swedish obsession with the fictitious Russian threat begins to resemble hysteria.
"With all due respect to the assessment by the Supreme Commander, we're talking about renting out Slite harbor for transportation of pipes. I cannot see any significant security threat in this," Stig Henriksson told Swedish Radio.
"So far, many defense experts have commented on the issue. I do not take their advice to heart," Björn Jansson said, as quoted by Aftonbladet.
The response in the small port town of Slite was also positive. According to entrepreneur Hans Lundgren, the deal is mostly viewed as a source of extra income for Gotland Municipality, since the locals do not associate it with politics.
"You mean that the Russians first seize Slite harbor and then occupy the rest of Gotland? Nah, this can't be," Hans Lundgren told Aftonbladet.
The Nord Stream 2 project is designed to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the EU across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.