Meetings between Swedish diplomats and senior NATO officials continued through the night in Brussels. Not long after midnight the meeting adjourned. The Swedes returned to their embassy for consultations with Stockholm. The NATO officials briefed Secretary General Peter Carrington on the progress of the talks. Afterward, Carrington personally contacted President Reagan, Prime Minister Thatcher, and President Mitterand, informing them of Sweden’s possible desire to join NATO. Discussions between the three leaders and Carrington. Senior diplomats from the United States, Great Britain, France, and NATO officials took it from there. When the Swedes returned at 0400 CEST high level discussions resumed.
Security was predictably tight, and very few people inside of NATO headquarters were aware of what was going on. However, this was wartime, and the KGB had not gone out of business. Word reached Moscow early that morning in the form of an unconfirmed rumor that bordered on hearsay. It did not take long for the news to reach the highest level of soviet political and military leadership, causing great concern. The prospect of Sweden joining NATO now was disconcerting to say the least. General Secretary Romanov wasted no time issuing orders. First and foremost, Romanov needed more information. The KGB was directed to immediately ascertain Swedish intentions by all means possible. The foreign ministry received nearly identical marching orders, while Defense Minister Yazov was told to begin monitoring Swedish military activity closely, and to prepare the Western and Northwestern TVDs for possible operations against Sweden.
Western TVD was already maintaining a vigilant watch on Swedish military activity. Through the late morning it remained at the same level that it had for the previous 24 hours. Air and naval patrols continued. There were no movements made towards or around the Aland Islands, and the transfer of surplus Draken fighters from Sweden to Finnish airbases did not resume. Radio traffic levels between Stockholm and Swedish military commands around the country remained at normal levels through noon.
Along with the stepped up reconnaissance effort, Soviet air and naval forces in the Baltic were preparing to adopt an offensive posture with regards to Sweden. The problem was determining what shape future operations would take. In the morning, air attacks continued against military targets in southern Finland, an effort that showed no signs of easing in the coming days. Bornholm Island was secured, setting the stage for the next phase of operations against Denmark or, if necessary Sweden. Up until now Soviet and Warsaw Pact moves in the Baltic Sea region had been very fluid, defined more by the situation at the moment instead of by doctrine and strategic objectives.
Now it was happening again. The next phase of operations against Denmark could not be conducted if Sweden became an adversary. Warsaw Pact and Soviet forces in the Baltic region had the power to do one or the other. Conquering Denmark and removing it from the war was deemed to be a strategic necessity. Especially now, with the way the war in Germany was going. Soviet and Polish forces were approaching the West German-Danish border, although a drive north into Jutland was not probable without a secondary effort against Zeeland to keep NATO forces there contained. Moving north into Jutland, and launching that secondary effort using airborne and amphibious forces had been the overall battleplan until circumstances such as the Polish mutiny delayed it.
As midday loomed, it did not seem probable that the majority of Soviet forces from Schleswig-Holstein to Estonia would be doing little more than watching and waiting for the remainder of the day.