Russia–Sweden relations date back to the 10th century; when Vikings called Varangians participated in the founding new states that later evolved into Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Historically the two countries have been connected since ancient days, when Swedish Vikings traded on the big Russian rivers and settled in slavic settlements that later became large cities such as
During the middle age several wars were fought between the Swedes and Russians, and
The central theme of the 1600–1725 era was the struggle between Sweden and Russia for control of the Baltic, as well as territories around it. Russia was ultimately the winner, and Sweden lost its status as a major power. In 1610 the Swedish army marched into Moscow under the command of Jakob De la Gardie. From 1623 to 1709, Swedish policy, particularly under Gustavus Adolphus (1611–32) and Charles XII (1697–1718), encouraged and militarily supported Ukrainian opposition to Muscovite Russian hegemony. Gustavus Adolphus fought the Ingrian War against Russia. It ended in 1617 with the Treaty of Stolbovo, which excluded Russia from the Baltic Sea. Sweden's most dramatic defeat on the battleground came in 1709 at the battle of Poltava, in an attempt to second the Ukrainian rebellion leader Mazepa. In these wars superior Russian forces often outnumbered Swedes, which however often stood their ground in battles such as those of Narva (1700) and Svensksund (1790) due to Sweden's capable military organisation.
Great Northern War
In 1700, a triple alliance of
At the time, most of the Swedish Empire was under foreign military occupation, though Sweden itself was still free. This situation was later formalized, albeit moderated in the subsequent Treaty of Nystad. The close saw not only the end of the Swedish Empire but also of its powerful monarchy and war machine.
In the middle of the Napoleonic wars, 1803–1815, Tsar Alexander of Russia started a war against Sweden. The area included modern Sweden and Finland. Sweden relied on what it called 'The Gibraltar of the North'--the new fortifications at Sveaborg near modern-day Helsinki. It was prepared for heavy attacks and long sieges. Nevertheless, it surrendered to the Russians in a matter of weeks and 1808, due to the forceful demands of Russian General Jan Pieter van Suchtelen and the pusillanimous responses of Swedish Vice-Admiral Carl Olof Cronstedt. After the war ended in 1809, Finland was handed over to Russia. Napoleon's invasion of Swedish Pomerania in January 1812 led to a rapprochement between Sweden and Russia that included Russian recognition of Swedish rule over Norway. There never was another war between the two and Sweden lost its role as a major regional power.
The Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg between July and December 1944 issued protective passports and housed Jews, saving tens of thousands of Jewish lives in Hungary. In 1944 he was arrested in Hungary and imprisoned in Moscow where he is supposed to have died. This occurred in the days of the Soviet Union, but the issue has later even been discussed between Russia and Sweden.
On 27 October 1981, the Soviet submarine
Relations between the two nations worsened after Moscow in 2009 rejected plans for a major EU-Russia summit in
The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany was the topic of Swedish Defence Research Agency's Robert L. Larsson's 110-page study "Nord Stream, Sweden and Baltic Sea Security" (2007) that found a number of concerning aspects in the Nord Stream project. The Swedish Defence Commission, however, did not mention any military implications of the pipeline in its December 2007 report on security issues and instead called for strict environmental requirements and cooperation between Baltic Sea states on surveillance. The Swedish government gave its approval of the project in November 2009.
Russian bombers have operated close to Swedish airspace on a number of occasions after the Ukrainian crisis and this has caused a discussion in Sweden to scale up its defences which also happened in 2015 with acquisitions of more Gripen aircraft, submarines, anti aircraft missiles and deployment of troops to Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
In March 2018, relations deteriorated further due to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, United Kingdom. Upon the United Kingdom stating that Russia produced the agent used, Russia claimed that several countries including Sweden were producing Novichok, the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack. The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, called the accusations 'unacceptable' on Twitter. In response to the attack, Sweden expelled a Russian diplomat from Stockholm. In response, Russia expelled a Swedish diplomat from Moscow.
In May 2018 amid tensions with Russia, Sweden sent pamphlets to its households telling its citizens how to prepare in case of war, the first time Sweden had done so since the Cold War in the 1980s. In October 2020, Sweden declared that military spending would increase by 40 percent in 5 years citing Russian activity in the Baltic Sea.
In December 2021, Russia warned of "serious military and political consequences" in case of Sweden's NATO membership. In February 2022, after Russia invaded Ukraine, they made the same threats towards Sweden and Finland.
With regard to football, Swedish footballers have earned, in recent years, successful careers in Russian Premier League, the top tier football league in Russia, and Swedish players, as well as players born in Sweden who have chosen to represent other countries, are increasingly omnipresent in Russian league. The most notable Swedish players to have played in Russia include Andreas Granqvist, Pontus Wernbloom, Kim Källström and Marcus Berg.
- Russo-Swedish Wars
- Russians in Sweden
- Russian National Association
- Anti-Russian sentiment in Sweden
- Swedish School in Moscow
- Sweden–Ukraine relations
- Russia–NATO relations
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who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest during World War II ... and put some 15,000 Jews into 32 safe houses.
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The K.G.B. promised today that it would let agents break their vow of silence to help investigate the fate of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who vanished after being arrested by the Soviets in 1945.
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