Sweden and Finland to bolster military co-operation

(L-R) Finland's Defence Minister Carl Haglund, Sweden's counterpart Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja pose for a photo upon arrival for a dinner at the government headquarters Rosenbad, in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 10, 2014. (Pontus Lundahl/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) Finland’s Defence Minister Carl Haglund, Sweden’s counterpart Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja pose for a photo upon arrival for a dinner at the government headquarters Rosenbad, in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 10, 2014. (Pontus Lundahl/AFP/Getty Images)
Sweden and Finland are to intensify their military co-operation, both country’s defence ministers announced on Tuesday.

A joint study by both Finnish and Swedish armed forces has proposed the two Nordic nations create a joint naval task force, as well as a joint army brigade. Both navies should be allowed to use each other’s naval bases, the study suggests.

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist calls the proposals: “A new important step forward in Finno-Swedish co-operation”, adding that the plans do not add up to a military alliance between the two nations.

Both Sweden and Finland are currently non-aligned, the only countries around the Baltic Sea not members of NATO, apart from Russia.

Related stories from around the North:

Finland: Finnish air force to take part in joint Finnish-Swedish-US military exercises, YLE News

Norway: Norway, Russia committed to Barents cooperation, despite divisions over Ukarine, Barents Observer

Russia:  More marines for Russia’s Northern Fleet, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Sweden’s government scared of NATO facts: Moderates Party, Radio Sweden

United States:  Pentagon: Climate change is national security risk, Barents Observer

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