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Sweden’s security ties with Finland ‘closer than ever,’ PM says

Sweden’s security ties with Finland ‘closer than ever,’ PM says

05.03.2022 From our online archive
Saturday’s meeting comes after debate on joining NATO intensifies in both nations
Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson
Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson
Photo credit: AFP

Security cooperation between Sweden and Finland is “closer than ever” as the two militarily non-aligned nations are reassessing their policies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said.

“The security situation has altered in a dramatic way,” Andersson said on Saturday in a joint news conference with her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Helsinki ahead of their meeting with Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and the two nations’ defence ministers. 

“The cooperation between Sweden and Finland when it comes to the defence area has been closer and closer for a number of years,” Andersson said. “We do see a closer cooperation now than we’ve seen, maybe closer than ever.”

The premiers declined to comment on potential membership in the NATO defence bloc, while saying there were no direct military threats against either Nordic country.

Saturday’s meeting comes after the debate on joining NATO has intensified in both nations that have stayed out of military alliances despite deepening their security cooperation with NATO and the US in last decades. Both countries have seen a historic shift in attitudes to NATO since Russia’s attack, with about half the population now supporting entry.

Niinisto met with President Joe Biden on Friday, and the presidents phoned Andersson after agreeing to start a “clear process” to enhance security and defense cooperation, also involving Nordic partners, according to comments from the Finnish president. Andersson said she’d told Biden that Sweden is also interested in close cooperation with the US.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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