On agenda, defence alliance between Finland and Sweden

We should as soon as possible establish a defence alliance with Sweden, Ilkka Kanerva says.

We should quickly agree with the Swedes about the formation of a defence alliance, head of the Finnish parliament defence committee says.

”Sweden has its air force and its fleet, and we have our land forces. It will be a win-win situation for both countries”, Ilkka Kanerva says.

The alliance should apply also in war time, the Defence Committee Chairman argues. He believes the new military cooperation should be established already in this election period, newspaper Hofvudstadsbladet reports.

The statements come as General Adrian Bradshaw, NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander to Europe pays visit to Finland.

At the same, representatives of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is in Finland to meet with leaders of the country’s top defence and foreign affairs leaders.

Finland has over the last years significantly strengthened its military relations with the neighboring Nordic countries, as well as with NATO.

In an op-ed in the Norwegian newspaper Afterposten in April this year, the four Nordic Defence ministers and one Foreign Minister call for an extended military cooperation among them. 

“The Russian military are acting in a challenging way along our borders”, the ministers write.

Nordic defense cooperation has been on the agenda for some years, but the op-ed marked the first time the ministers in such clear wording said enhanced militry cooperation is needed due to Russia’s actions, not only in Ukraine, but also along the Nordic borders.