Nordic nations agree on defense cooperation against Russia
The Nordic countries have apparently decided to form an alliance with the Baltic States to deter Russian aggression. There is no nation in northern and eastern Europe that has not been subject to veiled threats by Putin and increased Russian air/naval military activity close to their borders. Even Belarus has enacted a new doctrine that would regard the appearance of any armed groups or "little green men" (a reference to the Russian soldiers in Crimea without insignia) as a foreign invasion of its sovereign territory.Thu Apr 9, 2015
Calling Russia the biggest challenge to European security, Nordic nations agreed on closer defense ties and increased solidarity with the Baltic states on Thursday, aiming to increase regional security through deterrence. Writing in a joint declaration, the defense ministers of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland said Northern Europe must prepare for possible crises or incidents because of Russia. The statement comes amid heightened tensions in Europe since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine a year ago. With large Russian minorities living in the Baltics, concerns have grown in the region about the risk of Russian intervention.
Finland, which borders Russia, and Sweden are not members of NATO but have increased cooperation with the trans-Atlantic alliance, and the joint declaration has been among their strongest responses to Russia's aggression. "Russia's actions are the biggest challenge to the European security," the ministers said. "Russia’s propaganda and political maneuvering are contributing to sowing discord between nations, and inside organizations like NATO and the EU." The ministers said that closer cooperation in the Nordics and solidarity with the Baltic would improve security through deterrence as it would lift the threshold for military events.