19:56 GMT +323 March 2019
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    Sweden Designates China's, Russia's Actions as Main Security Threats - Report

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    STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) - The Swedish Security Service has designated the activities of China and Russia as one of the main factors that jeopardise national security, while also admitting that xenophobia and radical nationalism were on the rise in the country.

    "In the past few years, we have seen that Russia, in particular, has improved its ability to actively and covertly influence other states. This makes it necessary to enhance the ability of the Security Service and other agencies tasked with combating crime and other grey area activities," Klas Friberg, the head of the Swedish Security Service, said in a press release.

    Stockholm also cited Beijing’s alleged use of cyberattacks as well as its growing economic influence through the acquisition of enterprises all over the world as a threat, according to the press release.

    At the same time, Islamist movements still remain the most serious security threat for Sweden, while the threat from the white power movement has been growing, the security service noted.

    "A xenophobic and radical nationalist current is on the rise in Sweden, where we can see that the white power movement and unorganised xenophobic groups are starting to approach each other. The Security Service is closely monitoring these developments as part of our remit to prevent crime and protect Swedish democracy," Friberg underlined.

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    Later in the day, the Swedish Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that it maintains a close dialogue with the country's security service on the activity of a Russian diplomat suspected of spying.

    "The Foreign Ministry has summoned the Russian ambassador because of a diplomat's activity. The ministry is in close dialogue with the Swedish security service on the issue. We cannot provide more detailed information," the ministry said.

    At the same time, Daniel Stenling, the head of Counterintelligence unit at the Swedish Security Service (SAPO) stated that Russia does not represent any threat to Swedish security.

    "We are monitoring Russian activity. At present, our data do not give any reason to believe that Russia poses a military threat. We will not rule out this in the future, but now it is not," Stenling said at a press conference.

    Earlier, the Dagens Nyheter publication, citing a source in the ministry, said the ministry on Wednesday summoned Russian Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev and demanded that one of the diplomats leave the country.

    According to the source, the Russian diplomat is allegedly connected with the kingdom's national, who was detained in February on suspicion of collecting intelligence in favor of Moscow. The man refuses to admit his guilt. He worked in the high-tech sphere.

    Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refrained from commenting on the detention of the alleged spy, saying that this question should be referred to the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has refused to comment on the matter as well.

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    Tags:
    threat, security, Swedish Security Service, Dmitry Peskov, Sweden, China, Russia
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