Prime Minister Erna Solberg has agreed to attend a security policy summit in Finland together with Sweden.
This is the first time that security policy will be a central issue during a meeting of the ministers of state, defence and home affairs in Norway, Sweden and Finland, writes Forsvarets Forum (The Defence Forum). The meeting will take place in Helsinki on the initiative of Finland’s President Sauli Niinistös in mid-September, following the election, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
That Finland and Sweden, both outside NATO, want Norway to join in talks is new. While the first two have concentrated mostly on the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, the NATO country Norway has directed resources towards the northern areas.
However, Iceland and Denmark are not invited to the meeting. Forsvarets Forum writes that it is a strategic choice based on the geographical cohesion the countries have with regard to Russia. For ten years, the five Nordic countries have worked together to support each other in peacetime, but were extended last year to apply if one of the countries ended up in a conflict.
Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) and Minister of Public Security Ingvild Smines Tybring-Gjedde (Frp) will also attend the meetings in Finland.
The US has long had bilateral defence cooperation with both Finland and Sweden. In May last year, the three countries also signed a joint cooperation agreement.
The Russians clearly state that they do not like development. Without joining NATO, both Sweden and Finland are expanding their contact with the Western military alliance. The Russians are warning of several countermeasures in the direction of their own western border.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today