22:54 GMT16 February 2020
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    Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven has refuted allegations that the alleged "Russian threat" was behind the country's recent decision to deploy permanent troops on the Baltic island of Gotland, media reported Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Last week, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Byden ordered the troops currently training on the island of Gotland to stay put and a permanent unit to be established there by mid-2017, ahead of the schedule.

    On Monday, the Swedish Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the situation, that an increased "Russian threat", classified as secret, was a contributing factor in the country's decision.

    "I've told it before, and it remains unchanged, there is no direct military threat to Sweden," Loefven told Sweden's TT news agency as cited by The Local news outlet.

    The last military units on Gotland were decommissioned in 2005. According to an agreement reached in 2015, the military had been expected to return to the island only by 2018.


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