Sweden ends sub hunt

Suspected vessel remains a mystery.

Sweden calls off search for suspected submarine

The Swedish military has called off its week-long search for a suspected submarine in the sea south of Stockholm, officials say.

Naval vessels and planes have been searching the Stockholm archipelago for the last week, amid suspicions a Russian submarine was in trouble there.

Russia’s defence ministry denied any of its ships were involved.

It was reported to be Sweden’s biggest military mobilisation since the Cold War.

In a statement, the military said: “This means the bulk of ships and amphibious forces have returned to port.” It added that some smaller units would remain in the area.

The statement (in Swedish) did not say why the search had been cancelled. A press conference on the search will be held at 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT).

The military had been investigating possible “foreign underwater activities” based on what it called “several credible operations”.

It said that hundreds of people were involved in the search.

Swedish officials had not named any country. However, there were widespread suspicions that the Russian navy was involved.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied any involvement, with a defence ministry statement saying: “There have been no extraordinary, let alone emergency situations, involving Russian military vessels.”

Soviet submarine sightings caused Cold War security alerts in Sweden in the 1980s.

Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine this year has fuelled suspicion about its intentions towards other neighbouring states, notably in the Baltic.

On Tuesday, Nato said its jets intercepted a Russian spy plane that had briefly entered Estonian airspace.

Russia said the plane had been on a training flight and had not violated Estonian airspace.

Sweden is not part of Nato but has tightened its ties with the alliance.

It signed a pact with Nato on 5 September, allowing it to engage in joint training exercises, and receive assistance from Nato troops in emergencies.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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