MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) — Reports that a Russian emergency call triggered the submarine hunt in Stockholm's archipelago are false, a source from the Swedish Navy’s intelligence service told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
“It was just as interesting for me to read about the Russian distress signal as it was for you. But there was no such thing, the information is incorrect,” the source was cited as saying by the newspaper on Monday.
“I do not know how one managed to mix up things, maybe one has followed rumors? Sometimes it happens that someone starts fantasizing about something, and then someone else fantasizes about something similar, then you think that you have two [independent] reports, and then it becomes true,” the naval intelligence source added.
Answering a question of whether there had been registered radio traffic from Kaliningrad, the source stated that “there is traffic from Kaliningrad all the time, 24 hours a day. That is not unusual. It is just like with our transmitters everywhere in Sweden, they are sending [signals] all the time.”
Swedish forces launched a major operation off the coast of Stockholm on October 17 after receiving information about the presence of an unknown underwater object in the region, suspected to be a foreign submarine. According to the official version, the operation was triggered by sightings made by civilians.
The Svenska Dagbladet newspaper previously reported, citing “different persons with knowledge of the operation”, that Swedish forces in fact launched the operation after registering an emergency call in Russian between the Stockholm archipelago and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The Swedish Armed Forces rejected the claim, stating that they had no knowledge of such a call.
The search mission was finished on October 24. Swedish forces are certain that there has been at least one foreign underwater vessel in Swedish waters, a spokesman stated, though they were unable to establish which country the vessel belonged to or what sort of activity it was conducting.