Sweden has called off the search for a suspected submarine vessel in waters near Stockholm, after reports and photos from locals triggered fears of activity by a foreign, probably Russian, submarine or other underwater vehicle.
"At eight o'clock on Friday morning the main part of the marine intelligence operation carried out in the archipelago since last Friday ended," according to a statement by the Swedish military, reported by Swedish television network SVT and The Local.
The combined forces of Sweden's military had been searching for the suspected submarine off the coast of Stockholm for a week, in a story that had gripped the world's media, with the most likely suspect country of origin of the alleged intruding vessel believed to be Russia.
Sweden deployed battleships, minesweepers, helicopters and more than 200 troops to scour the coastal waters of the Stockholm archipelago, following reports of what was called a "man-made object" in the waters, but to no avail.
Russia suggested a Netherlands submarine had triggered the submarine hunt, a claim rejected by the Netherlands.
The episode focused attention on the low level of Swedish military spending, the country's lack of anti-submarine helicopters, and possible accession to Nato.
Estonia accused a Russian jet of intruding into its airspace October 23, in another episode pointing to tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis spilling over into the Baltic region.
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