01:36 GMT28 January 2020
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    Donald Trump has hardly ever been a media darling in Sweden. In the weeks leading up to the US presidential election, the Swedish media spared no praise for Hillary Clinton, who is clearly the favored candidate in Scandinavia. Sweden's Foreign Ministry went on to classify a report on how Trump's victory may impact Sweden's relations with the US.

    In October, Sweden's embassy in Washington DC compiled two reports on how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would likely tackle subjects such as defense and counter-terrorism. When the Swedish tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet requested to see the documents, the amount of information available for publication differed substantially.

    According to Aftonbladet, large sections of the Trump report were blacked out in a confidentiality assessment made by the Foreign Ministry. According to the newspaper, the Foreign Ministry's explanation for censoring some of the information was that it could potentially "disrupt Sweden's relationship with another state."

    On the other hand, several sections on Clinton, all written in a laudatory tone, were made public.

    "Clinton knows Europe, has close relationships with leaders in several European countries and is accustomed to working with Europe," the report said, highlighting Clinton's focus on multilateral institutions and global norms.

    A possible explanation for why the analysis of Trump's presidency was classified is that a great deal of speculation is involved due to his lack of previous experience in international bodies.

    "Trump has indeed spoken a lot about foreign policy during his campaign, but how that will all translate into overall policy should he become president is unclear. A lot of speculation is likely to occur, and that is perhaps why it isn't publishable," Björn Jerdén of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs told Aftonbladet.

    Meanwhile, Sweden's former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (in office from 2006 to 2014) voiced concern that much of what may happen with Trump as president still was unclear. Previously, the former Moderate leader called Trump "unpredictable" and stated that his triumph was likely to make the world a "more dangerous" place. Furthermore, a Trump victory would also be a major setback for the international economy, Reinfeldt said.

    "Should he win, it will create very serious tensions on the world's stock exchanges and markets," Reinfeldt said.

    Sweden's incumbent Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made no secret of his political sympathies either.

    "I want Hillary Clinton to become president. There's no doubt about it," Löfven told the Swedish tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet in August.

    According to Aftonbladet's columnist Lena Mellin, Trump's victory would leave the US "deeply divided, politically paralyzed and economically weakened," which is expected to take its toll on Sweden.

    "Sweden is a small, export-dependent and non-aligned country on the northern edge of Europe. It means that we more than many others depend on developments in the world's only superpower. Today, the US is our [Sweden's] third-largest export market and twelfth-largest import country," Mellin pointed out, citing Trump's pledge to tear up America's trade contracts following Brexit.

    According to Mats Karlsson, Director of the Foreign Policy Institute, a Trump victory would imminently leave a security vacuum in Scandinavia. Trump's intention to maintain a "very good relationship with Putin and Russia" is particularly appalling to Sweden, which pins its hopes on Washington to fend off the fictitious Russian "aggression" in the Baltic region.

    Curiously, Trump seems to have a special relation with Sweden. In his 1987 book "Trump: The Art of the Deal," the billionaire claimed that his father had come to America as a boy, having emigrated from Sweden. Later, it surfaced that Trump was actually of German and Scottish ancestry. 


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    Fredrik Reinfeldt, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Scandinavia, Sweden, United States
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