Due to Russian Aggression, Nordic States Increasing Their Military Cooperation

Norwegian F-16 intercepting Russian Tu-95 bomberIn an op-ed published in the Oslo daily Aftenposten, five Nordic ministers have signed the text outlining a very distinct military cooperation. An extended cooperation.

The agreement and the text – which has the form of a declaration – is a direct answer to aggressive Russian conduct in the vicinity of these Nordic nations.The joint text also describes extended cooperation with the Baltic states….

Key concepts in the cooperation are:

More joint exercises
Joint industrial cooperation, including the defence sector
Joint exchange of intelligence information
Joint processing of cyber-material…

The text signed by the for Nordic defence ministers and Iceland’s foreign minister opens with the following words:

The Russian aggression against the Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea are violations of international law and other international agreements. Russia’s conduct represents the gravest challenge to European security. As a consequence, the security situation in the Nordic countries’ adjacent areas has become significantly worsened during the past year….

[W]e must be prepared to face possible crises or incidents.

We have to relate to Russia’s actions, not the Kremlin’s rhetoric. Russia is undertaking huge economic investments in its military capability. The nation’s leaders has shown that they are prepared to make practical and effective use of military means in order to reach their political goals, even when this involves violating principles of international law….

The Russian military are acting in a challenging way along our borders, and there have been several infringes on the borders of the Baltic nations.

Russia’s propaganda and political manoevering are contributing to sowing discord between the nations, as well as inside organisations like NATO and the EU. The Nordic countries meet this situation with solidarity and a deepened cooperation….

A closer Nordic cooperation and acting in solidarity with the Baltic states contribute to increased security in our region and lowers the risk of military incidents. By acting firmly, predictably and consistently, we may contribute to peace and security in this part of the world.

We also introduced a program to develop defence capacities, where we in cooperation with the Baltic nations can contribue to reforming the defence sectors of our cooperating countries.

Image: Norwegian F-16 intercepting Russian Tu-95 bomber (photo: Norwegian Air Force)