Swedish group aims "Singing Sailor" at Russian subs

"The Singing Sailor" is lowered into the sea in the archipelago due east of Stockholm.

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society

Russia has a well-earned reputation these days for both international aggression and rampant homophobia, which has led one Swedish group to take a unique approach to the alleged problem of Russian submarines intruding in the waters near Stockholm.

A group which calls itself The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) created and has now put in place a dancing neon sign in the waters off Stockholm that bleats out the underwater message "This way if you are gay" in Morse code.

The Singing Sailor

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society

The sign also features red hearts and the silhouette of a sailor in skivvies shaking back and forth. At the bottom reads the message "Welcome To Sweden; Gay Since 1944," which is the year the country made homosexuality legal.

In October of last year, the Swedish Navy declared that it had made three credible sightings of foreign undersea activity, and they immediately suspected the intrusion of Russian submarines. According SPAS, this led to the country's biggest military mobilization in decades.

The Russian military denied their subs had entered Swedish waters.

However, in 1981, a Soviet nuclear-armed sub was stranded off Sweden's southeastern coast, causing an 11-day diplomatic standoff.

The memory of that incident remains fresh in the minds of many in Sweden, however, as according to SPAS, there's been a renewed call to beef up military spending.

The group says the sign in the waters is both an invitation to passing sailors from all nations to join the country's Gay Pride events, as well as "a contribution to the debate that we all should shift military resources into development and rethinking security."

In a press release, the group's president said: "If military actions and weapons had functioned as conflict-resolution methods there would be peace in the world a long time ago."