Russia is pushing Sweden and Finland closer to NATO

Sweden and Finland have increasingly strengthened cooperation with NATO countries, and it is very good for the Danish defence, says defence Minister Klaus yort Fredriksen (Claus Hjort Frederiksen), which in the future the discussion of the defense budget will pay particular attention to the defense of the Baltic sea because of the threat from Russia.

Two of the Nordic countries will participate in the discussion about strengthening the defense cooperation between NATO and the EU at the meeting of defence Ministers of NATO countries on Thursday and Friday in Sweden and Finland will sign his participation in the Joint expeditionary forces under the guidance of the UK Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), which also includes Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and the three Baltic countries.

A joint expeditionary force, which until now consisted only of NATO countries, should quickly provide, if it is necessary for NATO or the UN. This is a landmark event for the two non-aligned countries, Sweden and Finland, which are, thus, closer to NATO as much as possible, do not signed in the Alliance.

“This is a big advantage, because Sweden and Finland will be able to contribute to a Joint expeditionary force due to its possibilities. If they now start to operate, it will be under the auspices of the Joint expeditionary forces and together with NATO countries,” says Klaus yort Fredriksen at the meeting of the NATO countries, and adds that this is suitable for the Baltic sea region.

The defense Minister also stressed that the Nordic countries have already strengthen the cooperation, because all countries of the Baltic sea find it necessary.

All the countries of the Baltic sea are going to increase their defense budgets, and the Danish government also wants to make it fall on the discussion of the defense budget.

Sweden: the need for closer cooperation

Participation in Joint expeditionary forces, Joint Expeditionary Force, it makes sense for Sweden, according to the defense Minister Peter Hultqvist (Peter Hultqvist).

“We see this as an opportunity to develop military and political cooperation, — he said. — The security landscape has changed, if you recall the incidents of aircraft flying close to each other. This is a security issue. It is very important that Baltic sea countries have cooperated to prevent problem situations and to solve possible crises. Because if something happens, it will affect all countries.”

He says that Sweden will determine its position in the Joint expeditionary force from question to question, so that the country has not entered into conflict with its non-aligned status, but to the defense of the Baltic sea brings together Sweden, Finland and NATO.

Close defence cooperation between Denmark and Sweden that developed in the recent years has brought concrete benefits. If the Danish fighter is in the air and intercepts of Russian aircraft from Bornholm, he is now able to immediately fly the shortest route through Swedish airspace, while previously it was necessary to fly by a circuitous route.

Last year Sweden and Finland also granted that NATO would conduct exercises on their territory or even to come to the rescue in crisis situations.

However, Hultqvist stressed that the Swedish government does not have any plans to join NATO. Public opinion polls also show that most Swedes do not want the country’s entry into NATO. The same pattern is observed in Finland.

A discussion of the Danish defence budget with a focus on the Baltic sea

Klaus yort Fredriksen stressed that the future of the discussion of the Danish defence budget will specifically focus on strengthening the defence in the Baltic sea, and that it goes well with the new military objectives, approved by the NATO countries.

The defense budget will be considered in the fall, but now focuses on three elements. Namely, the missiles on the Danish frigates, equipment for detection of submarines in Danish territorial waters and the regular brigade numbering 4-5 thousand people that you can send out of the country with tanks, transport units and headquarters to the Danish armed forces can perform more major operations abroad.

Regarding the first two elements, it largely is about control of Russia.

“We in Denmark have to pay special attention to the Baltic sea region and how we can contribute to the effective containment of Russia that she has not appeared any “good ideas” in the region”, says Claus yort Fredriksen.

In the case of team we are talking not least about the fact that countries could take on big tasks under the auspices of NATO. But the defense Minister stressed that it is not about how to gain 4-5 thousand new soldiers in the armed forces of Denmark, and in addition it is unknown how big will be the team, if at all a political decision on a regular brigade.

Full support for NATO from the United States

Klaus yort Fredriksen also pleased with the fact that there’s no doubt that the US 100% support of NATO and the musketeer oath of defense of the Alliance: an attack on one ally is an attack on the entire Alliance.

At the meeting of NATO leaders last month, U.S. President Donald trump (Donald Trump), to the great surprise, has not expressed unconditional support for collective security guarantees of NATO, but later, and trump, and the Senate with the House of representatives stated that US 100% support security guarantees.

And US defence Secretary Jim Mattis (Jim Mattis) at the meeting of Ministers of defence summed up by this bold line.

“We can all say that the President is quite long to say this. But now removed all doubt that Mattis and noted in his speech at the meeting,” said Klaus yort Fredriksen.