Swedish minister denies spying for US

Swedish minister denies spying for US

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was accused on Friday of passing secret information on government talks and nuclear policy to the United States in the 1970s - but he dismissed the report as “banal” and “hardly sensational”.

Newspaper Aftonbladet said documents from anti-secrecy website Wikileaks showed Bildt gave confidential details to a US envoy about negotiations to form a coalition government in 1976.

The information also included details about the Swedish government’s attitude at the time to a possible referendum on nuclear power, the newspaper added.

Bildt, a high profile former prime minister, stopped short of denying he had ever passed on any information.But he wrote on his blog: “Hardly sensational. Quite normal diplomatic reporting. Very banal information ... And nothing which deals with things that can be called ‘secret’.”

Bildt was an aide to one of the parties involved in the 1976 talks. Another newspaper, Expressen, reported in February last year WikiLeaks was poised to out Bildt as a US spy - but he dismissed that report as a smear campaign. Expressen said Wikileaks would release the information to punish the Swedish government if the website’s founder Julian Assange was ever extradited from Britain to Sweden and on to the United States.