The report states that Finnish and Swedish aircraft and naval vessels could take more advantage of the each other’s bases and ports. In addition, it calls for the formation of land, sea and air units that would exercise together, without however merging naval or air forces.
The report was prepared by presented by Finnish and Swedish defense ministries and armed forces, and was presented by Finland’s Defense Minister Carl Haglund and his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist on Tuesday.
Security has become a main focus in the countries around the Baltic Sea amid increased tension with Russia, which has been boosting its military capabilities. The crisis in Ukraine has caused the most serious confrontation between Russia and the U.S. and the EU since the Cold War.
The long term commitment to deepened defense cooperation between Finland and Sweden aims for better security in a regional context and strives for the better use of resources and cost efficiency in defense-related areas.
The report states that Finnish and Swedish aircraft and naval vessels could, if needed, take more advantage of the each other’s bases and ports. In addition, it calls for the formation of land, sea and air units that would exercise together, without however merging naval or air forces.
Joint forces are, though, given consideration in the report. These could be a joint army brigade or joint naval unit. Other examples of closer co-operation noted include shared maintenance of helicopters and tanks, as well as joint acquisitions. The two defense ministers stressed that closer cooperation is not about the creation of a defense alliance.
The cooperation on land-based units could mean that Swedish forces will train at Europe’s largest artillery practice range Rovajärvi outside Rovaniemi in Northern Finland, Aftonbladet writes, cinting Helsingin Sanomat.
Finland and Sweden are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, though they joined the European Union in 1995. Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Russia – more than the other 27 EU members combined – and fought two wars against the Soviet Union during World War II. Popular opposition has stopped the two countries from joining NATO.