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Hotline a first step towards closer Finnish-Swedish defense co-operation

A report on defense co-operation between Finland and Sweden unveiled in Stockholm Tuesday evening says that the very first step towards closer defense ties should be an upgrade of secure communications between the two countries.

kaksi hävittäjää ilmassa
Satakunnan Lennoston Hornetit ilmatankkausharjoituksessa. Image: Puolustusvoimat

Finland's Defense Minister Carl Haglund and his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist presented the report that was jointly produced by the Finnish and Swedish defense ministries and armed forces.

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.

Haglund and Karin Enström, who held the Swedish defense portfolio at the time, ordered the report last May when they signed an agreement on closer peacetime cooperation between the two countries.

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