Sweden dismisses move to return ‘spoils of war’ to Poland

Sweden dismisses move to return ‘spoils of war’ to Poland

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde said she won’t return a historical document to Poland, as it was a “legitimate” spoil of war. Łaski’s statutes, the first codification of Polish law, was published in 1506 before a copy was taken by Sweden during an invasion in the mid-17th Century and is now in the collection of Uppsala University. Right-wing MP Björn Söder, from the Sweden Democrats, demanded earlier in July that Sweden return the “looted” parchment. Citing Poland’s swift backing for Sweden’s entry to the NATO military alliance, Söder said that it would be a gesture of goodwill to hand back…
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Swedish annual inflation hits 8.5% in June, highest since 1991

Swedish annual inflation hits 8.5% in June, highest since 1991

STOCKHOLM, July 14 (Reuters) - Consumer prices in Sweden rose 8.5% in June from the same month last year and were up 1.2% from the previous month, the statistics office (SCB) said on Thursday. The central bank targets a consumer price inflation rate based on a fixed interest rate, or CPIF, of 2%. Inflation has soared in recent months, with prices - essentially static at the start of 2021 - now increasing at a higher pace than any time in the last 30 years. June inflation was the highest since July 1991. Analysts had forecast headline inflation of 8.1% against 8.0% expected…
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Swedish cenbank prioritising anti-inflation fight over growth

Swedish cenbank prioritising anti-inflation fight over growth

STOCKHOLM, July 11 (Reuters) - Sweden's central bank will prioritize bringing down inflation over risks to growth, rate-setters said in the minutes of its most recent policy meeting, published on Monday. At the end of June, the Riksbank delivered its biggest hike in more than 20 years, taking the benchmark rate to 0.75% from 0.25%, and said rates would hit about 2% around the start of next year.  The next policy meeting is scheduled for Sept. 20. "The monetary policy tightening shall be implemented, as far as possible, without slowing down economic activity too much and while retaining financial stability," First Deputy…
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Photo Story: Tall Ships visit Esbjerg Harbour, Denmark

Photo Story: Tall Ships visit Esbjerg Harbour, Denmark

The Tall Ships' Races visit Esbjerg Harbour, Denmark.  The world's most beautiful sailing ships, taking part in Tall Ships' Races 2022, dock in Esbjerg for the fifth time. Up to 500, 000 visitors are expected at the port during the four days event, with no less than 12 nations represented among the 34 tall ships. Via EPA-EFE/BO AMSTRUP
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Finland passes laws to strengthen security on Russian border

Finland passes laws to strengthen security on Russian border

HELSINKI, July 7 (Reuters) - Finland's parliament on Thursday voted in favour of legislation that would allow barriers on the country's border with Russia and enable the closure of the 1,300-km (800 miles) frontier from asylum seekers in case of exceptional circumstances. The bill on preparedness, while contested in terms of European Union asylum rules, was passed by a supermajority that allows parliament to fast-track laws, amid fears Russia could retaliate over Finland's plans to join the NATO military alliance. It will also allow the government to decide to build fences or other barriers near Finnish borders and direct all…
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SAS flights cancelled as pilot strike deepens airline’s troubles

SAS flights cancelled as pilot strike deepens airline’s troubles

STOCKHOLM, July 7 (Reuters) - Hundreds of SAS  flights were cancelled on Thursday as the airline wrestled with a strike by pilots at its main SAS Scandinavia arm, overshadowing a traffic surge during June. Talks between the airline and pilots over a new collective bargaining agreement collapsed on Monday, prompting a strike which adds to travel chaos in Europe and deepens the financial crisis at SAS, which estimated it would ground half its flights. The troubled airline, whose biggest owners are the Swedish and the Danish states, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States on Tuesday. The first hearing was…
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Woman stabbed to death at Swedish political festival

Woman stabbed to death at Swedish political festival

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -A woman was stabbed to death on the Swedish island of Gotland, police said on Wednesday, at a political festival taking place just over two months before a national election.  Police said a man in his 30s was taken into custody on suspicion of murder following the stabbing, which happened close to where Centre Party leader Annie Loof was giving a speech. Police also said they had no indications of further threats to the festival, and declined to comment on motives or political affiliations of the suspect.  A woman has been seriously injured in a stabbing at the…
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63% of SAS flights cancelled on Wednesday

63% of SAS flights cancelled on Wednesday

STOCKHOLM, July 6 (Reuters) - Scandinavian airline SAS  headed into the third day of a crippling pilot strike, cancelling well over half its flights on Wednesday, as it geared up for the first court date in its bankruptcy proceedings later in the week. The carrier, whose biggest owners are the Swedish and the Danish states, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on Tuesday to help cut debt while warning a strike among its pilots had deepened its financial crisis.  Talks between SAS and pilots in its main SAS Scandinavia arm over new collective bargaining agreement collapsed on Monday, triggering a…
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Danes mourn death of three in Copenhagen mall shooting

Danes mourn death of three in Copenhagen mall shooting

Thousands of people held a vigil on Tuesday evening outside a shopping mall in Copenhagen where three people were shot dead two days earlier in a rare shooting incident that has rocked this normally peaceful Nordic country. Police detained a 22-year-old Danish man and charged him with manslaughter and intent to kill. He is being held in custody in a closed psychiatric ward. Police do not suspect the crime to be an act of terrorism. "Tonight we meet to commemorate. Tonight we feel the grief. Tonight we feel the love," Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Sophie Haestorp Andersen told mourners at…
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Finland, Sweden sign to join NATO but need ratification

Finland, Sweden sign to join NATO but need ratification

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -NATO's 30 allies signed an accession protocol for Finland and Sweden on Tuesday, allowing them to join the nuclear-armed alliance once parliaments ratify the decision, the most significant expansion of the alliance since the 1990s. The signing at NATO headquarters follows a deal with Turkey at last week's NATO summit in Madrid, where Ankara lifted its veto on the Nordic membership bids following assurances that both countries would do more to fight terrorism. "This is truly an historic moment," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said alongside the foreign ministers of the two countries. "With 32 nations around the table,…
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Harry Styles devastated over Denmark shooting, cancels concert

Harry Styles devastated over Denmark shooting, cancels concert

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - British singer Harry Styles said he was "heartbroken" and "devastated" over a deadly shooting at a shopping mall in Copenhagen on Sunday, after he cancelled a concert scheduled to take place in the city. The "Sign of the Times" and "Watermelon Sugar" singer had been due to perform at Copenhagen's Royal Arena on Sunday as part of his tour, "Love On Tour". Three people were killed and several others wounded in a shooting at Field's mall in the capital, Danish police said, adding they had arrested a 22-year-old Danish man and charged him with manslaughter.…
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UPDATED:  No indication Danish mall shooting was ‘act of terror’ – police

UPDATED: No indication Danish mall shooting was ‘act of terror’ – police

COPENHAGEN, July 4 (Reuters) - Danish police said on Monday four people were in critical condition after being hit by gunshots in a shooting at a shopping centre in Copenhagen on Sunday in which three people were killed. Chief Police Inspector Soren Thomassen told reporters there was no indication the shooting had been an "act of terror" or that the suspect had acted together with others. "There has been some sort of deliberation and preparation (by the suspect) up to this terrible event," Thomassen told a news conference without providing details on the perpetrator's possible motives. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen…
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Danish police say several dead after Copenhagen mall shooting

Danish police say several dead after Copenhagen mall shooting

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Several people were killed in a shooting at a shopping centre in Copenhagen on Sunday, Danish police said, adding they had arrested a 22-year-old Danish man and could not rule out it was an "act of terrorism". "There are several injured, and what we also know now is that there are several dead," Chief Police Inspector Soren Thomassen told journalists, adding that police had launched a massive search operation throughout the local Zealand region. People gather in front of the Field's shopping center during evacuation, in Oerstad, Copenhagen, Denmark, 03 July 2022. Several people have been shot in…
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SAS and its pilots extend wage talks until Monday

SAS and its pilots extend wage talks until Monday

STOCKHOLM, July 2 (Reuters) - Scandinavian airline SAS and its pilots have agreed to extend their wage talks until Monday in the hope of averting a strike, a company executive told reporters on Saturday. Close to 1,000 pilots in Denmark, Sweden and Norway plan to strike if talks break down, according to the unions, which SAS had said could leave some 30,000 passengers stranded each day.  "We need to sleep, none of us have slept for a really long time," SAS' lead negotiator Marianne Hernaes told reporters after the latest round of talks which ran through the night. A strike would comes at a…
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Russia threatens retaliation against Norway over access to Arctic islands

Russia threatens retaliation against Norway over access to Arctic islands

Russia said that restrictions imposed by Norway were blocking goods for Russian-populated settlements on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, and threatened unspecified "retaliatory measures" unless Oslo resolves the issue. Svalbard, midway between Norway's north coast and the North Pole, is part of Norway, but Russia has the right to exploit the archipelago's natural resources under a treaty signed in 1920, and some settlements there are populated mainly by Russians. Norway, which is not in the EU but applies EU sanctions against Russia, has said sanctions would not affect the transport of goods by ship to Svalbard. But much of the…
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NATO deal with Turkey greeted with caution and concern in Sweden

NATO deal with Turkey greeted with caution and concern in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, June 29 (Reuters) - Sweden and Finland took a step closer to joining the NATO military alliance after Turkey's decision to drop its objections, but there may still be snags to overcome as some critics say the deal hands a foreign policy veto to Ankara. The three countries reached a breakthrough agreement after more than four hours of talks on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday. While Sweden and Finland will be given "invitee" status at the Madrid summit, their applications need to be approved by all NATO's 30 current members, a process that could…
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Finland, Sweden will ‘eventually’ join NATO, says Spain’s PM

Finland, Sweden will ‘eventually’ join NATO, says Spain’s PM

Sweden and Finland will eventually become part of NATO, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday alongside the alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hours before a NATO summit was due to open in Madrid. "We are convinced that, if not now, it will be later, but eventually they will join the Atlantic alliance," Sanchez told reporters. Added Stoltenberg: "We hope to make progress on the accession of Finland and Sweden." (Reporting by Belen Carreno and Inti Landauro. Writing by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Andrei Khalip) Reuters "
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Sweden’s Kurds fear they may pay price for NATO bid as Turkey fumes

Sweden’s Kurds fear they may pay price for NATO bid as Turkey fumes

STOCKHOLM, June 28 (Reuters) - Kurds in Sweden's large diaspora are worried they will become a pawn in the negotiations over Stockholm's ambition to join NATO if the West makes concessions to win Turkish support. Sweden, along with Finland, applied for NATO membership in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with their bids warmly welcomed as a "historic moment" by alliance chiefs. But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is their support for Kurdish militants and arms controls on Ankara over a 2019 incursion into Syria.  "We don't want the Kurds to be on…
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Photo Story: Norway in mourning after fatal Oslo shooting

Photo Story: Norway in mourning after fatal Oslo shooting

People lay flowers and rainbow flags next to a crime scene in the aftermath of the shootings in the center of Oslo, Norway. Two people were killed and at least 21 were injured when a gunman fired shots outside the London Pub, a gay bar and nightclub, and surrounding areas. The man was detained shortly after and charged with murder and terrorism. Investigators said the suspect, identified as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran. The annual Pride Parade and related events in Oslo, scheduled for 25 June, were called off for security reasons. The deadly rampage by a gunman…
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Gunman opens fire at Oslo gay bar, killing two on Pride parade day

Gunman opens fire at Oslo gay bar, killing two on Pride parade day

OSLO (Reuters) - A gunman went on a terrifying rampage in a gay bar and the surrounding streets in Oslo on Saturday, killing two people and injuring more than 20 on the day the city's LGBTQ community was due to celebrate its annual Pride parade. The attack took place in the early hours, with victims shot inside and outside the London Pub, a well-known gay bar and nightclub open since 1979, as well as at one other bar in the centre of the Norwegian capital. "Many people were crying and screaming, the injured were screaming, people were distressed and scared…
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Swedish economy to slow, tougher times ahead, government forecast says

Swedish economy to slow, tougher times ahead, government forecast says

STOCKHOLM, June 22 (Reuters) - Sweden's economy will grow more slowly than previously expected, hit by the effects of inflation and the war in Ukraine, the government said in a new forecast published on Wednesday. Gross domestic product is expected to grow 1.9%, the Finance Ministry said compared with the 3.1% predicted in the previous forecast in April. GDP growth was seen at 1.1% in 2023, down from 1.6% seen previously. (Reporting by Simon Johnson, editing by Terje Solsvik)
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Finland is ready to fight Russia if attacked – defence chief

Finland is ready to fight Russia if attacked – defence chief

HELSINKI, June 22 (Reuters) - Finland has prepared for decades for a Russian attack and would put up stiff resistance should one occur, its armed forces chief said. The Nordic country has built up a substantial arsenal. But aside from the military hardware, General Timo Kivinen said, a crucial factor is that Finns would be motivated to fight. "The most important line of defence is between one's ears, as the war in Ukraine proves at the moment," Kivinen said in an interview. Finland fought two wars in the 1940s against its eastern neighbour, with which it shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border. Once…
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Denmark to offer fourth COVID vaccine dose to people over 50 years

Denmark to offer fourth COVID vaccine dose to people over 50 years

COPENHAGEN, June 22 (Reuters) - Denmark plans to offer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose in the autumn to those who are over 50 years old, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Wednesday as she announced a strategy to curb the spread of the disease over the coming months. Although COVID infections are still at low levels, Denmark has seen an increase in the number of cases after the new BA.5 subvariant of Omicron, which seems to spread more quickly than other variants, became dominant in the Nordic country. "It is not surprising to us that new variants occur and infections…
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Two people wounded in attack in Sweden, one arrested

Two people wounded in attack in Sweden, one arrested

Two people were wounded in an attack in the Swedish town of Vasteras on Tuesday, police said, adding that one person had been arrested. Police in a statement said a sharp object had been used and that the attack had been classified as attempted murder. Swedish daily Aftonbladet, citing unnamed sources, reported that the victims were stabbed with a knife. Police said the attack took place in central Vasteras, about 90 km (56 miles) west of Stockholm. via Reuters
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Photo Story: Spitfire at the Danish Air Show 2022

Photo Story: Spitfire at the Danish Air Show 2022

A Spitfire RW386 aircraft is prepared during the Danish Air Show that was held over the weekend at the Karup Airport, near Karup, Denmark. Every two years the Royal Danish Air Force organises a Danish Air Show at one of its three Air Bases, Aalborg Air Base, Karup Air Base or Skrydstrup Air Base and is considered one of the biggest airshows in Scandinavia. Via EPA-EFE/HENNING BAGGER
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Photo Story: Belated birthday celebrations for Norway’s Princess Ingrid Alexandra

Photo Story: Belated birthday celebrations for Norway’s Princess Ingrid Alexandra

Norway's Princess Ingrid Alexandra toasts as she delivers a speech next to King Harald (R) during the gala dinner celebrating her 18th birthday at the Palace in Oslo, Norway, on Friday. Princess Ingrid Alexandra turned 18 on 21 January 2022. The celebrations were postponed until June due to the infection situation and the coronavirus restrictions. EPA-EFE/Hakon Mosvold Larsen / POOL
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Photo Story: KISS live at Copenhell heavy metal festival in Denmark

Photo Story: KISS live at Copenhell heavy metal festival in Denmark

 (L-R) Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Paul Stanley of US band KISS perform on stage during the Copenhell heavy metal festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhell is a heavy metal festival held annually at Refshaleøen in Copenhagen, since 2010. It was one of the first open-air heavy metal festivals in Denmark. Photo: EPA-EFE/Torben Christensen
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Russian warship violated Danish territorial waters in Baltic Sea

Russian warship violated Danish territorial waters in Baltic Sea

COPENHAGEN, June 17 (Reuters) - A Russian warship early on Friday twice violated Danish territorial waters north of the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, the Danish Armed Forces said in a statement. The incident happened north of Christiansø. The statement said that after a radio warning from the Danish Navy's maritime task force, the Russian ship immediately left Danish territorial waters File Photo courtesy Søværnets
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Woman pleads guilty to role in laundering $4 bln via Danske Bank in Estonia

Woman pleads guilty to role in laundering $4 bln via Danske Bank in Estonia

COPENHAGEN, June 15 (Reuters) - A Lithuanian woman on Wednesday pleaded guilty to involvement in laundering more than 29 billion Danish crowns ($4.1 billion) through Danske Bank's  Estonian branch, her defence lawyer said. The case, in which two other individuals have been charged, came to the authorities' attention during an investigation into one of the world's biggest money laundering scandals at Danske Bank, Denmark's biggest lender.  The 49-year old woman told a Copenhagen city court she helped launder money via 40 limited partnerships, all of which had bank accounts in Danske Bank's now shuttered Estonian branch, between 2008 and 2016, her lawyer said.…
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Canada and Denmark divide small Arctic island, ending ownership dispute

Canada and Denmark divide small Arctic island, ending ownership dispute

Denmark and Canada will divide the small, uninhabited island in the Arctic known as Hans Island, ending an almost 50-year long ownership spat, in a largely symbolic act of diplomacy designed to avoid tensions in the high North. The two NATO allies have been engaged in a mostly good-natured squabble over the island, situated at equal distance between Greenland and Canada's Ellesmere Island, since 1971 when their rival claims came to light. Greenland is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. It leaves Copenhagen to manage certain policy areas, including foreign and security policy. Canada and Denmark will divide the 1.2 square-kilometre (0.75 square miles) island into…
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NATO chief says Sweden has taken “important steps” to meet Turkey’s demands

NATO chief says Sweden has taken “important steps” to meet Turkey’s demands

Sweden has taken important steps to meet Turkey's demands for approving Stockholm's NATO membership application, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday during a visit to Sweden. Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance last month, in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Their applications have faced unexpected opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it deems is Swedish support of Kurdish militants and by a previous decision to withdraw arms export licenses to Turkey. "I welcome that Sweden has already started to change its counter-terrorism legislation and that Sweden will ensure that the legal framework for arms export will reflect the future…
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Global nuclear arsenal to grow for first time since Cold War

Global nuclear arsenal to grow for first time since Cold War

STOCKHOLM, June 13 (Reuters) - The global nuclear arsenal is expected to grow in the coming years for the first time since the Cold War while the risk of such weapons being used is the greatest in decades, a leading conflict and armaments think-tank said on Monday. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Western support for Kyiv has heightened tensions among the world's nine nuclear-armed states, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) think-tank said in a new set of research. While the number of nuclear weapons fell slightly between January 2021 and January 2022, SIPRI said that unless immediate action…
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New survey on sinking of M/S Estonia, in the Baltic Sea

New survey on sinking of M/S Estonia, in the Baltic Sea

The first rendering (composite image) of the stern of Estonia taken using a a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) being lowered from the vessel VOS SWEET to the Baltic Sea. The picture is reversed because the stern is lying upside down on the bottom. The rendering consists of 623 still images composed with Photogrammetry. Kees Beemster Leverenz, Photogrammetry specialis, from the company Ocean Discovery, made the picture. A new survey of M/S Estonia using a ROV, a photogrammetric survey is being carried out. 852 people died when MS Estonia sank on 28 September 1994, during a crossing between Tallinn, Estonia and…
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Photo Story: Rare visit by Walrus in Skane, Sweden

Photo Story: Rare visit by Walrus in Skane, Sweden

People look at the walrus, named 'Sten' by the public, laying on his rock outside the village of Arild in the Skalderviken bay area in the southwest of Sweden. The wild walrus has been spotted along the Swedish west coast during the last weeks swimming south. According to experts that local newspaper HD.se has spoken to, this is probably the first time a walrus has visited the Skane, the most southern county in Sweden. Via EPA-EFE/JOHAN NILSSON
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Danish government aims to own 22-30% stake in SAS, finance minister says

Danish government aims to own 22-30% stake in SAS, finance minister says

COPENHAGEN, June 10 (Reuters) - Denmark is willing to forgive debt owed by loss-making airline SAS SAS.ST and also to inject more capital together with private investors, Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said on Friday. Denmark could raise its stake to between 22% and 30% from today's 21.8% in order to help secure the carrier's future, he said.
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No signs of Russian threat to Sweden, Finland -NATO deputy chief

No signs of Russian threat to Sweden, Finland -NATO deputy chief

COPENHAGEN, June 10 (Reuters) - NATO's deputy chief sees no immediate military threat to Sweden and Finland from Russia and is confident that the aspiring NATO members will join the alliance despite Turkey's objections, he told the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on Friday. Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO last month in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine but face opposition from Turkey, which accuses them of supporting and harbouring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists.  "We are confident that Sweden and Finland will join our ranks," Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said. "Allies have concerns. And Turkey has some concerns that are legitimate when…
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Sweden to seek constructive progress with Turkey over NATO bid

Sweden to seek constructive progress with Turkey over NATO bid

STOCKHOLM, June 10 (Reuters) - Sweden will look to make constructive progress in talks with Turkey on Ankara's objections over the Nordic country's application to join the NATO defensive alliance, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Friday. Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO last month in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine but face opposition from Turkey, which accuses them of supporting and harbouring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists. The objections caught Finnish, Swedish and many NATO officials by surprise and have dimmed prospects for rapid progress on the membership bids ahead of a NATO summit…
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Denmark, Faroe Islands agree to establish North Atlantic air radar

Denmark, Faroe Islands agree to establish North Atlantic air radar

COPENHAGEN, June 9 (Reuters) - Denmark and the Faroe Islands agreed on Thursday to establish an air surveillance radar on the North Atlantic archipelago as part of efforts to keep a closer eye on activities in the Arctic, the Danish Defence Ministry said in a statement. The two had initially announced a plan for the radar project in February 2021, but it has taken on more urgency in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "(The radar) will benefit the community at a time when Europe's security is threatened," Danish Defence Minister Morten Bodskov said in a statement, although he…
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SAS pilots warns of potential strike from June 24

SAS pilots warns of potential strike from June 24

COPENHAGEN, June 9 (Reuters) - The Danish Pilot Union said on Thursday some 1,000 SAS SAS.ST pilots from Denmark, Norway and Sweden could go on strike from June 24 if they fail to reach a wage agreement with the Nordic airline. (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, editing by Terje Solsvik)
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Photo Story: USS Kearsarge arrives in Stockholm

Photo Story: USS Kearsarge arrives in Stockholm

US amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge arrives in central Stockholm, Sweden. Around 40 warships are expected to moor in Stockholm from 02 to 05 June ahead of the BALTOPS 22 exercise taking place from 05 to 17 June. Via EPA-EFE/HELENA LANDSTEDT
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Swedish PM threatens to resign if justice minister ousted in no-confidence vote

Swedish PM threatens to resign if justice minister ousted in no-confidence vote

Sweden's prime minister threatened to step down just three months before a general election is due, if the centre-right opposition succeeds in winning a vote of no-confidence against the interior minister over his handling of gang crime. The Moderates, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats parties said they would support a no-confidence vote planned for next week against Justice and Interior minister Morgan Johansson called by the populist Sweden Democrats party. They say Johansson should take responsibility for failing to tackle gang crime that has led to a wave of shootings and murders in recent years. The four parties plus…
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Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats gain support ahead of September election

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats gain support ahead of September election

STOCKHOLM, June 2 (Reuters) - Support for Sweden's ruling Social Democrats has risen to a third of voters as the public seeks stability amid the war in Ukraine, an official poll showed on Thursday, but a fragmented parliament may make it hard to form a government after a national election in September. The Social Democrats, in power since 2014, polled 33.3% in the poll conducted by the Statistics Office (SCB), up from 29.1% in a previous poll last November. It was also up from the party's vote share of 28.3% at the last national election in 2018. While the government received some…
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Denmark to join EU defence policy after historic vote

Denmark to join EU defence policy after historic vote

Denmark will join the European Union's defence policy after a referendum on Wednesday, final results showed, signalling the latest shift among Nordic countries to deepen defence ties in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Denmark is the only EU member that is not part of the bloc's defence and security policy. The referendum marks the first time a government has succeeded in abolishing one of several exemptions secured in a 1993 referendum on the Maastricht Treaty. Final results showed almost 67% of voters were in favour of removing an opt-out to the EU's so-called Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP),…
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Swiss veto Danish request to send Ukraine armoured vehicles

Swiss veto Danish request to send Ukraine armoured vehicles

ZURICH, June 1 (Reuters) - The Swiss government has vetoed Denmark's request to send Swiss-made armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine, citing its neutrality policy of not supplying arms to conflict zones, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported on Wednesday. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) rejected Denmark's bid to provide around 20 Piranha III infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, SRF said, citing confirmation from the agency. SECO did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neutral Switzerland requires foreign countries that buy Swiss arms to seek permission to re-export them. In April it vetoed the re-export of Swiss-made ammunition used in anti-aircraft…
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Denmark to vote on overturning 30 years of EU defence reticence

Denmark to vote on overturning 30 years of EU defence reticence

Danish voters will on Wednesday decide whether to join the European Union's defence policy, potentially becoming the final hold-out in the bloc to sign up as Russia's invasion of Ukraine forces countries to radically reassess their security. Denmark is the only member of the 27 nation bloc not in the Common Security and Defence Policy, having secured exemptions from it and the euro currency in a 1993 referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, which laid the groundwork for the modern EU. If the notoriously EU-critical Danes vote to abolish the opt-out, as polls suggest will be the case, it would mark…
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Swedish economy shrinks as pandemic and war pinch exports

Swedish economy shrinks as pandemic and war pinch exports

STOCKHOLM, May 30 (Reuters) - Sweden's economy slowed sharply in the first quarter of the year, data from the Statistics Office showed on Monday, confirming that the lingering effects of the pandemic and war in Ukraine have put the brakes on growth. Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.8% compared with the final quarter of 2021, downwardly revised from the previous estimate of a 0.4% decline. On the year, the economy grew 3%, unrevised from the previous estimate. "The downturn was relatively broad but negative net exports were the biggest contributor, Jessica Engdahl, section chief at the Statistics Office said in a statement.…
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No need seen to add U.S. ground forces in Sweden, Finland

No need seen to add U.S. ground forces in Sweden, Finland

Sweden and Finland’s push to join NATO won’t require adding more U.S. ground forces into either country, the U.S. general nominated to take over European Command told senators. But Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli said military exercises and occasional American troop rotations will probably increase. Cavoli, who currently serves as head of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, said the increased military focus will probably continue to be on eastern Europe — where nations are more worried about potential Russian aggression and any spillover of the war on Ukraine. “The center of gravity of NATO forces has shifted eastward,” Cavoli told the…
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Danish anti-ship missiles expected to help Ukraine control its Black Sea coast

Danish anti-ship missiles expected to help Ukraine control its Black Sea coast

Copenhagen's pledge of Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a launcher to Ukraine, announced by the United States on Monday, is the first sign since the Russian invasion in February that Kyiv will receive U.S.-made weapons that significantly extend its striking range. Ukraine has been seeking more advanced weapons such as air defenses, anti-ship missiles and longer-range rockets, but so far the majority of aid has been in short-range systems like Javelin anti-tank weapons and artillery. The Harpoons, made by Boeing could be used to push the Russian navy away from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, allowing exports of grain and other agricultural…
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Photo Story: Tivoli celebrates Golden Jubilee of Margrethe II

Photo Story: Tivoli celebrates Golden Jubilee of Margrethe II

Danish Queen Margrethe II (L) walks along with Tivoli's director Susanne Morch Koch after her arrival this weekend at the amusement park Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark. Tivoli celebrated the Queen's 50th Anniversary on the Danish throne, which had been postponed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic until today. Via EPA-EFE/Martin Sylvest
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Danes’ confidence in the economy drops to historic low

Danes’ confidence in the economy drops to historic low

COPENHAGEN, (Reuters) - Danes' confidence in the Danish economy reached a historic low in May as rising interest rates and inflation weighed on households, according to a survey among consumers from Statistics Denmark published this week. Consumer confidence for May dropped to a record -22.4 points, the lowest registered since the monthly survey began in 1974. "The decline in consumer confidence is primarily due to a sharp decline in ... consumers' assessment of Denmark's economic situation today compared with a year ago," Statistics Denmark said. The agency also recorded a significant drop in families' view on their own household economy now compared to a…
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Sweden gives go-ahead for offshore windpark to power 500,000 homes

Sweden gives go-ahead for offshore windpark to power 500,000 homes

Sweden's government this week announced that it had given state-owned utility Vattenfall a renewed and expanded license to build a windpark off the southern coast of Sweden which will produce enough power for around 500,000 homes each year. The government said Vattenfall may build wind turbines with a total height of 280 meters at Kriegers Flak instead of the previous 170 meters and extended the license to 35 years from 30. The windpark is expected to produce 2.3-2.8 TWh of electricity each year. "Windpower far out at sea will be decisive in strengthening Sweden's energy supply in the future," Minister…
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Earthquake hits north of Norway’s Svalbard

Earthquake hits north of Norway’s Svalbard

OSLO, May 21 (Reuters) - A magnitude 6 earthquake struck north of the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard on Saturday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said, though police said there were no reports of any injuries or damage. The quake happened 725 km (450 miles) north of Svalbard at a depth of 2 km, EMSC said. "We have had no reports of any incident," a police spokesperson at the Svalbard governor's office told Reuters. He added there were usually "many ships" sailing around the island, but did not know how many there were at the moment. "As of now we have no…
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Turkey’s Erdogan to speak to Finland as NATO application row simmers

Turkey’s Erdogan to speak to Finland as NATO application row simmers

ISTANBUL, (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he will speak to Finland on Saturday, while maintaining his opposition to Finnish and Swedish NATO membership bids over their history of hosting members of groups Ankara deems terrorists. Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO on Wednesday, following Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Erdogan said he had discussed the issue with the Dutch prime minister on Friday and would also speak to Britain on Saturday. He did not specify the people he would speak to in Finland and Britain. "Of course we will continue all these discussions for the sake of not interrupting diplomacy," Erdogan told reporters. Ankara says…
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Russia to halt gas flows to Finland on Saturday

Russia to halt gas flows to Finland on Saturday

HELSINKI, May 20 (Reuters) - Russia's Gazprom  has informed Finland it will halt flows of natural gas from Saturday morning, Gasum said on Friday, after the Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler refused to pay its Russian supplier in roubles. Gazprom Export has demanded that European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in roubles because of sanctions imposed over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Most supply contracts are denominated in euros or dollars and Moscow has already cut off gas to Bulgaria and Poland last month after they refused to comply with the new payment terms.  The majority of gas used in Finland comes from…
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NATO beer goes on sale in Finland

NATO beer goes on sale in Finland

Finnish brewery Olaf Brewing introduced their OTAN beer into the market, a beer released to cheer Finland's historic decision to join the NATO, or OTAN as the defence alliance is abbreviated in some languages. The brewery plans to send beer to the Presidential Palace, Parliament and the General Staff. "We hope that after a busy spring, the state leadership, members of parliament and the Defense Forces will have some time to celebrate the results of their work, for example by taking this beer." Finland's Parliament on 17 May approved the country's application for NATO membership as a result of Russia's…
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UPDATED: Two people stabbed in case of domestic violence in Norway

UPDATED: Two people stabbed in case of domestic violence in Norway

OSLO (Reuters) -A Syrian man stabbed and wounded his wife and another man in a small village in southeast Norway on Friday, police said, adding that the attack was a domestic dispute and there was no danger to others. The two victims and the attacker were all wounded in the attack, which had triggered a major response by emergency services fearing a larger incident, and one of the victims was in a critical condition, police said. “The initial victim was a woman married to the attacker,” a police spokesperson told reporters. “There is no longer danger to other people.” Officials…
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Turkey has told allies it’s a ‘no’ to Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid – Erdogan

Turkey has told allies it’s a ‘no’ to Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid – Erdogan

Turkey has told allies that it will reject Sweden and Finland's membership to NATO, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a video posted on his Twitter account on Thursday. Finland and Sweden formally applied on Wednesday to join U.S.-led NATO, a decision spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Turkey's objections have come as a surprise to the other members of the alliance. "We will continue our policy in a determined way. We have told allies that we will say no to Finland and Sweden's NATO membership," Erdogan said in an interview with students? late on Wednesday. The Turkish president said Sweden and…
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