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Nordic countries move toward more pragmatic joint defense

English.news.cn   2013-12-05 07:20:42            

HELSINKI, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Nordic countries will seek to develop a more pragmatic, transparent and coordinated defense cooperation, as well as to contribute more capabilities to international engagements in the coming years, said a document released on Wednesday after a ministerial meeting in Helsinki.

The two-day meeting bringing together 12 defense ministers from Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as the Netherlands, Britain, Poland and Germany, adopted the vision which focuses on the basis of political guidance of Nordic defense cooperation by 2020.

"The unpredictability and complexity of the future security environment, combined with economical austerity will affect the Nordic countries individually," said a joint statement, adding that the nations would seek an enhanced political and military dialogue and create efficient and cost-effective solutions.

By 2020, cross-border exercises will be conducted on a regular basis. Cooperation in air and sea surveillance and exchange of surveillance data of the Nordic region will be enhanced.

Possibilities for pooling of capabilities and resources will be actively sought and joint acquisition will be enabled, according to a press release issued by the Finnish defense ministry.

Nordic countries said they would develop rapid deployment capabilities to be used for the NATO Response Force or the EU Battle Groups in a more active manner.

"Even though the Nordic countries have different membership obligations in NATO and in the EU, the Nordic cooperation can strengthen our respective countries' defence," said the document.

Moreover, Nordic countries will establish a roster of specialists and military advisors in order to provide advisory support by 2020.

Finland acted as the chair nation for the Nordic Defence Cooperation (Nordefco) in 2013.

Nordic countries are currently placed in different military frames. Norway is a member of NATO but not EU, whereas Finland has joined the EU without being in NATO. The complicated situation made it difficult to reach agreement when Norway raised a proposal in 2009 to conduct a joint air patrol in Iceland involving Finland and Sweden.

However, Kirsti Kauppi, head of the political section of the Finnish foreign ministry suggested that the chances loom larger for joint patrol exercises to occur in 2014, as the situation has changed and Nordic cooperation has moved forward.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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