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Hultqvist on Russian threat: We must move forward

”Nordic försvarsförmågor” stands as the first item on Monday's program at the People and Defence national conference in Sälen. Four nordic defence ministers ar

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Hultqvist on Russian threat: We must move forward

”Nordic försvarsförmågor” stands as the first item on Monday's program at the People and Defence national conference in Sälen. Four nordic defence ministers are then gathered on the podium.

– It is a clear indication about the seriousity and the importance behind the work. We all think that it is an essential priority to move forward in the nordic perspective, " says minister for defence Peter Hultqvist (S).

the chair of the defence cooperation that goes under the name of Nordefco. It is a rather unknown nordic cooperation which started in 2009 after the Russia–Georgia war of 2008. Momentum got Nordefco only after Russia's attack on Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014.

since Then, the threat landscape around the Nordic countries was further strengthened, according to Hultqvist.

– We can see the increased Russian activity: in the north Atlantic, in our neighbourhood, with great exercises, they open the old Soviet bases in the Arctic and in the Murmanskområdet. Russia has raised its military prowess consistently over a longer period. It has also been shown that it is prepared to use it.

– The new Russian ingredient is a markeringspolitik where the prohibited areas in the Baltic sea, in close connection to Sweden and along the Norwegian coast.

Hultqvist: Importance of deepening defence cooperation

on to Russia in 2018, made avlysningar for robotskjutningar in international waters, which has affected air traffic in the airspace controlled by Sweden and other baltic sea countries and Norway. But above all, this is security markings against the west's freedom of movement.

On the other side of the Atlantic, US president, Donald Trump declared that he sees the EU as an enemy. Within Nato, Trump created uncertainty about the U.S. stands firm in the alliance's försvarsgarantier. Secretary of defense James Mattis resigned in december in protest against the way the president treats allies and friends.

– The american commitment in Europe and the exercises in connection to the Nordic countries has increased. It is the practical outcome. Then, I assume that the contracts and agreements they have entered into agree, regardless of political administration, responds to Peter Hultqvist, who signed two agreements with Mattis.

tours of the Trump of the government. One of Sweden's official priorities for the Nordefco is that in 2019 deepen the cooperation between the Nordic countries and the united states.

In Sälen is flanked Hultqvist of the minister of defence Jussi Niinistö. Finland have that Sweden is a very close cooperation with Nato but is not a member of the alliance. It is, however, the other three nordic countries, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. On the podium also involved the Danish defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen and his Norwegian colleague Frank Bakke-Jensen.

Despite the countries ' different security policy choices ministers signed in Oslo on 13 november 2017, a far-reaching document on the enhanced defence cooperation.

”We will improve our defence capability and co-operation in peace, crises and conflict”, declared the minister. According to this ”vision 2025” should have concrete cooperation in 16 different areas by the year 2025.

– one is to raise the threshold for a potential conflict situation. The second is that, if we have a crisis to manage so there is the possibility to also act jointly. There is a nordic and european message of solidarity, says defence minister Hultqvist.

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to criticize more and more often to the nordic countries to the Nato exercises in the north. But Hultqvist rejects the deepening and widening of the nordic defence cooperation could provoke Russia.

" No. We have our own making, our own assessments and our full right to make their own exercises and collaborations with other countries. We do not change in any way our basic security posture. We are not a country that threatens anyone, and we have no offensive intentions. The only intention we have is värnet about our own sovereignty.

In line with the implementation under Swedish leadership during a major air exercise, Arctic Challenge Exercise, 20 may–5 June. It becomes an advanced ”flag drill” with the attackers and förvarare, the first of its kind in the Nordic countries. It is carried out with the support of the united states and is one of Sweden's contribution to Nordefco.

the Swedish government to the Swedish armed Forces shall conclude agreements with Norway, Denmark and Finland to transfer the information about what is in the airspace (luftlägesinformation). The decision applies to peacetime and to get this to work is one of Sweden's priorities in 2019.

But Nordefco-cooperation should go further still. By the year 2025, the information shall be transferred all the time between countries in peace, crisis, as during a conflict. The goal is to have a common picture of the situation in the air, on land and at sea.

Other parts of the cooperation should make it possible, with the least possible hassle to move the joints between the countries.

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