Sweden, Denmark and Norway sign defense cooperation agreement – EURACTIV.com
Sweden, Denmark and Norway on Friday signed a defense cooperation agreement in response to mounting tensions in the Baltic Sea and apparent Russian aggression, but Finland’s absence in the deal has raised some concerns. Questions.
The three-state agreement primarily meets the needs of non-NATO Sweden, which neglected military build-up and virtually dismantled its defense forces after the Cold War. The deal is necessary because of Russia’s willingness to use military force to achieve political goals, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish broadcaster TV4 in an interview on Friday. All three countries aim to raise the bar against such behavior.
On Finland’s absence from the agreement, Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen justified it by stressing that the Danish Strait of Kaliningrad was not at the country’s gates via Twitter on Friday. A similar defense cooperation agreement has already been signed between Finland, Sweden and Norway, while Finland also has its own bilateral agreement with Sweden.
Defensive agreements abound in Europe and around the Baltic Sea.
The Nordic Defense Cooperation (NORDEFCO) consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden with the aim of “strengthening the national defense of participants, exploring common synergies and facilitating effective common solutions â. The European Intervention Initiative (EI2) launched by France, aims to “facilitate the emergence of a European strategic culture” has thirteen members, all from the Nordic countries with the exception of Iceland. In addition to the Baltic States and the Netherlands, the United Kingdom-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) also includes Nordic members.
(Pekka VÃ¤nttinen | EURACTIV.com)