False: Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson will allow the deployment of nuclear weapons in Sweden during peacetime in connection with NATO bid.

By: Christian Haag
January 11 2023

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False: Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson will allow the deployment of nuclear weapons in Sweden during peacetime in connection with NATO bid.


The Verdict False

This was based on a mistranslation. Ulf Kristersson said the opposite: that there was no reason for having nuclear weapons in Sweden in peacetime.

Claim ID b71ffc87


Russian media claims that Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson has announced the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons in Sweden during peacetime during the Swedish national defense conference Folk och Försvar (People and Defence). The claim was first published by RBC and later by Gazeta, Lenta, News.eu, and Kommersant, to mention a few, who referred to RBC. It was also reported in English on the Armenian site News.am and Grounds.news, referring to News.am. 

In Fact

The claim is false. Logically reviewed the speech, both in the original Swedish and in the English translation posted on the Swedish Government's website. From Swedish to English, the line translates to: "But we see – as little as other Nordic countries – that is it relevant to have nuclear weapons in on our own territory during peacetime."

This followed him saying that Sweden would join NATO without any formal conditions, like Norway and Denmark. Kristersson explained that none of the Nordic countries were willing to accept keeping nuclear weapons on their territory in peacetime as a condition for being part of NATO. As such, Ulf Kristersson clearly said the opposite of the claim made by Russian media.

RBC has since retracted its article and added a note citing a translation error. In an email to Aftonbladet, the Swedish Department of Foreign Affairs wrote that the Swedish embassy in Moscow contacted RBC regarding the issue.

However, other sites have not edited their articles and continue to claim that Ulf Kristersson has announced nuclear weapons will be allowed in Sweden. Lenta and News.ru also refer to Swedish sources, Lenta to the YouTube video of Ulf Kristersson's speech at Folk och Försvar, and News.ru to a transcript of the speech on the website of his political party Moderaterna. However, one can clearly understand what Ulf Kristersson was saying if equipped with proper Swedish language skills. 

Logically further researched the spread of the incorrect claim and found it reported by Russian Pravda, Fan, Economy Today, Dzen, and some smaller Russian fringe sites. While most echoed the original report, some expanded on it, claiming – without any basis – that this is a move from Sweden to force NATO into pressuring Turkey to allow them to join the alliance.

The Swedish PM has also issued a clarification from his official Facebook page about the false translation spreading on Russian-language media. He termed the claims "Russian disinformation" and warned that it was meant to "create division and uncertainty - both within Sweden and between Sweden and our allies."


This misinformation was based on a mistranslation that was later corrected by the original news organization that printed it. The original text and video of Kristersson's speech, still available in multiple places online, show the correct meaning in Swedish: the Swedish Prime Minister will not keep nuclear weapons on Swedish soil during peacetime. We therefore rate this claim as false. 

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English , Svenska

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