While Norway is a NATO member and Sweden and Finland are military non-aligned, the three are set to deepen their defence cooperation after defence ministers of the three countries held talks on Wednesday (18 May).
Representatives of the three countries discussed future military exercises and the current coronavirus situation, which is slowing down plans but not cancelling them.
However, while no decisions were made, negotiations will continue, according to the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE).
In Finland, the parliament’s defence committee will receive this week a defence ministry report on defence cooperation between Finland, Sweden and Norway. And the country’s defence minister, Antti Kaikkonen (Centre), has already confirmed that he does not consider Norway’s NATO membership to be an obstacle.
“I’m certain that Finland can do defence cooperation with Norway, bearing in mind that the country’s NATO membership brings along an extra ingredient. Of course, it has an effect and it separates us, but as such it does not prevent our cooperation,” said Kaikkonen.
In the Arctic Circle, three-state cooperation is already visible, with air force training taking place on a regular basis. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)