Ukraine crisis prompts Sweden to boost arms budget

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Associated Press

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 6:33 AM

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Following the crisis in Ukraine, Sweden's government has proposed increasing the Nordic country's military spending by 5.5 billion Swedish kronor ($830 million) a year.

The four-party center-right coalition said Tuesday it is deeply concerned by the recent events in Ukraine and wants to raise the military outlays gradually in coming years to reach the proposed figure by 2024.

Among other things, it wants to buy 10 more fighter jets and two more submarines to improve the defense of the Baltic Sea and the island Gotland.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Sweden's defense budget was slashed and its military emphasis shifted toward international peacekeeping operations. Now, however, both the left-leaning opposition and the government agree that the country's military readiness is inadequate.

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