RIGA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Latvia and Sweden should be ready to deal with any crisis situation for lasting peace and stability in the region, visiting Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said Friday.
Hultqvist was in Latvia for talks with Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis on regional security, as well as Latvian-Swedish bilateral defense cooperation.
Talking to reporters after the meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Hultqvist said Sweden has to adapt to the new security reality but that it will remain outside NATO and will keep cooperating with NATO.
Hultqvist emphasized the strategic role of Sweden's island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea region, saying that Sweden is investing in boosting the island's military capabilities.
Sweden plans to deploy military equipment and create a permanent defense system on this Baltic island in 2018.