In a new military cooperation agreement, American forces now have access to Swedish military bases. American soldiers stationed in Sweden will not be subject to Swedish law – but to American law.
– It is a deterrent to war and a stabilizer, says Defense Minister Pål Jonson about the new agreement.
According to TT, negotiations on the new military cooperation agreement have been ongoing since the turn of the year and proceeded “faster than expected”. The final details are expected to be finalized this week.
– I expect we’ll conclude soon, and then we can sign the agreement this fall, continues Jonson.
The stated purpose of the agreement is for Sweden to “more easily and quickly receive American military support”, the newspaper writes about the agreement expected to come into effect next fall.
Defense Minister dodges questions
In essence, the agreement allows the US access to several Swedish military bases where they can store their own weapons and defense equipment. However, the Defense Minister doesn’t want to specify how many bases are involved.
– It’s about existing locations where the Armed Forces are already situated around the country … It’s important that we have a strong American presence in Northern Europe. It’s a deterrent and stabilizing, he said.
The Defense Minister also declined to specify which American combat vehicles and weapon systems will be stored on Swedish soil, stating that it depends on “what kind of military resources the Americans, and we, see a need to pre-position”.
However, American soldiers in Sweden will not be under Swedish law – but under American law, which, according to Jonson, is entirely natural.
– No, we have the capability to address these matters. If a crime of greater strategic or principal importance is committed, we can ‘take it back,’ and then Swedish law will apply in that case.