Nordic countries to further strengthen cooperation on security and defence

Security policy was a key topic at the meeting of the Nordic Prime Ministers in Oslo today. The Nordic countries have agreed to further develop security and defence cooperation in the region.

‘The fact that Finland and Sweden have applied for membership of NATO represents a historic shift for Nordic security policy and defence cooperation. My ambition is for this to lead to a further deepening of our already close cooperation,’ said Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

‘The Finnish and Swedish NATO applications enable us to view Nordic defence in a larger, more binding context. We will cooperate and assist each other as allies in the event of a crisis or war. A united Nordic region in NATO will provide us with a stronger voice in the Alliance, and will give our shared values greater visibility and impact,’ said Mr Støre.

During today’s meeting, the Nordic countries agreed on a joint statement on Nordic cooperation on security and defence. The statement points out that Swedish and Finnish membership of NATO can greatly enhance the effectiveness of defence of the Nordic region. The document also states that the Nordic countries will strengthen joint exercises and training and will seek to develop NATO as a military and political alliance.

Relevant areas for increased cooperation in the first phase include air defence, logistics and supply, as well as joint training and exercises in the Nordic region and with NATO. Having all the Nordic countries in NATO will enhance the countries’ shared airspace situational awareness and facilitate use of each other’s air bases. The Nordic countries in NATO will together command a considerably larger air force of several hundred modern fighter jets.

‘Norway will listen to what Finland and Sweden think is needed as we now consider how to further reinforce Nordic regional cooperation within the framework of NATO. Just last week, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden established a framework for entering into agreements on defence-related products and security of supply,’ said Mr Støre.

The Nordic Prime Ministers will hold a press conference at 14:45 today which will be broadcast live on regjeringen.no.

Read more about the meeting of the Nordic Prime Ministers here.