Signed Joint Vision for Further Development of the Nordic Defense Cooperation
(Source: Norway Ministry of Defense; issued Nov 13, 2018)
During the Nordic defense ministerial meeting in Oslo on Tuesday, November 13, the Nordic ministers wrote under a common vision and action plan for the Nordic defense cooperation.

"In view of a more unpredictable and challenging security situation in our part of the world, it is important for closer defense cooperation between the Nordic countries. This will strengthen the country's military capabilities and promote regional security and stability, "said Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.

The security policy challenges in our common neighborhoods and ongoing cooperation projects were high on the agenda when Denmark's Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Finnish Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö, Iceland's Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and Norway's Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen met in Oslo this week.

"Several of the Nordic countries have contributed to the NATO Trident Juncture exercise. This has been a unique opportunity for NATO and partner countries Sweden and Finland to test our ability to fight together. This not only enables us to defend ourselves, but also strengthens the ties between our countries, continues the defense minister.

No military threat to the Nordic countries

He emphasizes that the Nordic defense ministers do not see any direct military threats to the Nordic countries today, but that we are in an unpredictable and uncertain time.

"A more autonomous Russia has shown both the will and ability to use military power to achieve its own strategic goals. Cyber attacks and misinformation are actively used to create disputes among the population both in Europe and the United States, which again challenges democratic institutions and our ability to agree with each other. International terrorism has changed our thinking about social security, migration appears to be one of today's most polarizing forces and climate change will affect all these conditions in ways no one can fully comprehend.

Practice together

The Nordic contribution to Trident Juncture consisted of over 13,000 soldiers and a high number of civilian personnel. Finnish honorary divisions have been working with a Swedish brigade, and Danish helicopters have supported the Norwegian brigade. Strengths from NATO and Partner Countries Sweden and Finland have used military bases and airports in all the Nordic countries. Iceland has played a crucial role as the hub and deployment platform for deployment and support of Allied forces across the North Atlantic.

"The comprehensive participation from the Nordic countries is a conscious and clear result of our joint effort to strengthen Nordic defense cooperation. We train and practice together more than before and we have made sure that military forces and material can be moved quickly between our countries without time-consuming bureaucracy, "said the minister of defense.

In the extension of the meeting with the Nordic ministers, a Nordic-Baltic defense ministerial meeting is also being held. Wednesday, November 14, the Nordic and Baltic Defense Ministers meet in the so-called Northern Group format together with the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and Germany.

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