Countries Around Baltic Sea on Edge Over Unclaimed Submarine

Posted on Oct 24, 2014

The appearance of an as-yet unidentified submarine in coastal waters off of the coast of Stockholm, Sweden's capital, has brought up some Cold War tensions among countries that lie along the edges of the Baltic Sea. The Associated Press reported that the Swedish military is using air, land and sea vehicles, as well as ground troops on the coast, to search for the submarine, which was spotted a handful of times via sonar and other methods during the middle of October. The major difference in this search effort is that Sweden isn't using violent means, avoiding the depth charges and other devices that were commonly put in place during the Cold War era.

Officials in Stockholm are attempting to determine the origin of a submarine spotted in Swedish waters

Some pointing to Russia, but nationality unsure
The Swedish government hasn't been able to confirm the identity of the submarine, although some of the scant evidence points circumstantially to Russia. That country has access to the Baltic via two areas, the port of St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, as well as the exclave of Kaliningrad, which is between Poland and Lithuania. The Associated Press pointed out that Russia has been accused of violating the national boundaries of other countries in the region during the past few months, lending some credence to the theory.

Dutch say no
U.S. government-owned news provider Voice of America reported that officials from Denmark denied a Russian claim that the submarine was Dutch, likely scuttling that possibility. With Russia strenuously denying that they own the vessel as well, the identity of the submarine may never be known - especially if it's in good enough condition to return to its source. Voice of America said a Swedish paper, Svenska Dagbladet, reported that an emergency request was intercepted indicating that the sub was of Russian origin, but the authenticity of that statement can't be confirmed and the Swedish government didn't officially put much stock into it.

What does this mean for corporate travel?
The incident in the Baltic Sea area isn't affecting travel or business operations at the moment, but it demonstrates that problems can arise even in areas viewed as relatively safe and stable. Businesses have to have the systems in place to protect both their employees and fixed assets, no matter the location. NC4 Risk Center provides businesses with relevant news about incidents and accidents based on the location of employees and assets as well as user preference, allowing for accurate, targeted and granular reporting of events that could potentially affect business operations.


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