Today, the Swedish Fortifications Agency and the Armed Forces are trying to recover the port they themselves divested in 2004.
"We simply have a need for the port," Armed Forces Press Chief Philip Simon told the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen.
Rysk oligark är en av spekulanterna på hamnen i Fårösund. https://t.co/yTdv8FjDQO— Observationsplatsen (@oplatsen) February 24, 2017
Now that Sweden is intent on re-militarizing Gotland, the Russians' alleged interest in the former military port, which happens to be the only one of its kind on Gotland, provides a comfortable pretext for yet another round of anti-Russian sentiment. Neighboring Finland previously announced the cancellation of a number of property transactions involving Russian buyers, which was labeled a new "hybrid war" phenomenon.
"I demand that the Minister of Defense immediately stop this. It is gross negligence that it has not already been done," Jan Björklund said, as quoted by the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.
Meanwhile, the pending sale of Gotland's only submarine port raises further question marks. The port, which has strategic military significance, was sold off in 2004 by the Göran Persson government. The port, which was estimated to have cost around 500 million SEK ($55 mln) to build, was sold for only 18 million SEK ($2 mln).
In an interview with the Swedish news outlet Nyheter Idag, Kuylenstierna refused to either corroborate or disclaim that Antonov is an interested party. According to Lars Carlström, a friend of Antonov and his former advisor, Antonov's name and the Russian connection may have been used in order to bid up the price, Expressen reported.
In Sweden, Antonov is best known for having tried to take over Saab Automobile. However, the deal was stopped by the Fredrik Reinfeldt government after Antonov was proclaimed an unsuitable bidder.
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