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Haglund: Increased Nordic security cooperation not Nato-related

According to Finnish Defence Minister Carl Haglund, the defence cooperation agreement involving Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark announced on Thursday does not mean that Finland is one step closer to joining Nato.

Carl Haglund
Carl Haglund: Nordic security cooperation and NATO membership are two entirely different matters.

Norwegian daily Aftenposten reported Thursday on a defence cooperation agreement involving Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark in an op-ed undersigned by their respective Defence Ministers. The background to the intensified collaboration was said to be the perceived threat posed by Russia.

Responding to the suggestion that increased security cooperation between the Nordic countries suggests Finland is one step closer to joining Nato, Haglund said: “In my opinion this Nordic security cooperation is one thing and Nato membership is a totally different matter,” says Haglund.

He also said that the timing of the announcement less than a week before Finns go to the polls, was in no way related to the elections as it was the Swedes who decided on the timing of the announcement.

Reportedly, the move was not intended to communicate anything to Russia.

“Of course it’s good that they know Nordic security cooperation is increasing, but this is not meant to send any kind of message to Russia,” said Haglund.

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