10:33 GMT27 January 2020
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    Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Byden wants to have direct contact with the Russian Armed Forces amid growing tensions in the Baltic Sea, local media reported Tuesday.

    STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) — The commander underlined that he was not talking about normalizing relations with Russia but that it was necessary to have a direct line of contact with all countries that have a military presence in the Baltic Sea.

    "There are examples when we flew close to each other. One mistake can mean an accident that can be used improperly or maybe I have information that could solve the issue but it does not reach [the destination point]," Byden said at a seminar on security in Visby, on the island of Gotland, as quoted by the Swedish TT news agency.

    Byden did not provide details about how this might work in practice, suggesting only that there could be a designated telephone number for a relevant official as one means of communication.

    On Sunday, Finnish Defense Committee Chairman Ilkka Kanerva told Sputnik that Finland and Sweden would join the upcoming NATO summit in Poland to discuss the tensions in the Baltic Sea area and to gain insights into the latest NATO policy for the region.


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