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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Nordic Defence Ministers joint statement on strengthening Nordic defence cooperation

From left: Peter Hultqvist (Sweden), Bjørn Arild Gram (Norway), Morten Bødskov (Denmark), Antti Kaikkonen (Finland) and Bryndís Kjartansdóttir (director of the Directorate for Security and Defence of MFA Iceland). - mynd

The Nordic defence ministers met on 11 May 2022 in Kirkenes, Norway and gave the following statement:

The war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed European defence and security policy. In light of the ongoing crisis, Nordic solidarity and defence cooperation is more important than ever. 

The Nordic countries share fundamental values and security interests. We share a strategically important location. Closer defence cooperation between the Nordic countries strengthens our military capabilities and promotes regional security and stability. Combined, our armed forces represent a considerable defensive force. 

Our ability to cooperate during peacetime is a foundation for our ability to act during crisis and conflict. Hence, our armed forces train and exercise together regularly, including exercise Cold Response, the biennial Nordic air defence exercise Arctic Challenge Exercise, as well as regular Cross Border Training conducted between our Air Forces. In addition, we are in the process ofdeepening our operational cooperation, enabling us to improve our interoperability, deterrence and territorial defence. 

As we face increasingly complex security challenges in our region and beyond, we must cooperate through a-whole-of-society approach. Recent experiences from theCovid-19 pandemic have demonstrated the necessity ofinternational cooperation and resilient societies. We have a strong tradition for total defence within the Nordic countries, and we aim to strengthen civil-military cooperation across our borders.

We, the Defence Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and Foreign Affairs Minister of Iceland, remain committed to further deepening our defence cooperation with regards to operational cooperation and total defence.

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