slaviasnks russians
Armed men sit on an armoured personnel carrier with a Russian flag on it in Slaviansk Reuters

Sweden's government has announced plans to significantly boost defence spending in the face of Russia's recent aggression in the region if it wins the election.

The centre-right coalition said it would pump more money into increasing its military presence in the Baltic Sea and buying more fighter jets and submarines.

"In the budget for 2015 we will propose a significant strengthening of the military," the leaders of the four parties said in a signed article in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

They said they had previously welcomed Russia's increased integration into the world economy but felt the tide had begun to turn.

"What we are seeing now is that Russia's actions confirm and exceed the fears we had then," they said. Kiev has accused the separatists in the east of Ukraine of having ties with the Kremlin.

If the alliance were to remain in power beyond the next election, the annual increase in defence spending would be hiked by around $832m by 2024.

Russia annexed the Crimea region after a widely disputed referendum in March. Armed pro-Russian separatists have occupied government buildings in cities and towns across eastern Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin recently admitted that there were some Russian troops in Crimea to secure the referendum.

An agreement between Ukraine, the US, the EU and Russia at Geneva for the armed groups to hand over their weapons and leave Ukrainian government buildings has been ignored.

Sweden has been winding down its defence sector since the end of the Cold War but has been caught out before by the reduction in military strength.

In March 2013, Russian jets launched a mock attack and Sweden had no jets in position to respond to any threat. Nato had to intervene and scramble jets from Lithuania.

Since then, the main opposition group in parliament has been demanding more defence spending.