Bilateral defence meeting between Sweden and Finland in Karlskrona
Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist visited Karlskrona together with his Finnish counterpart Antti Kaikkonen on 9–10 March. The ministers discussed the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, bilateral defence cooperation, coming exercises, international missions and other issues of common interest.
During their visit to Karlskrona, ministers Peter Hultqvist and Antti Kaikkonen held a bilateral meeting and discussed issues such as the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, deepened defence cooperation, exercises and cooperation in the area of defence equipment. International missions and current issues linked to cooperation within the EU and within the framework of the countries’ partnership with NATO were also discussed.
The ministers were received by Chief of the Swedish Navy, Rear Admiral Ewa Skoog Haslum, and were given a presentation of operations at the Karlskrona Naval Base. The ministers also went on board one of the Swedish Navy’s submarines and the submarine rescue ship HMS Belos.
Steps towards closer cooperation
The main point on the agenda was the continued development of bilateral defence cooperation. Defence cooperation is conducted in a large number of areas, including bilateral operational planning, exercise cooperation, mutual use of military infrastructure, cooperation in the area of defence equipment and staff exchanges. Cooperation covers a large number of activities that are conducted on a regular basis in all branches of the armed forces, not least within the framework of national and international exercises.
On 5 March, the Government decided a bill containing a number of legislative proposals on operational military support within the framework of Swedish-Finnish defence cooperation. The legislative proposals are aimed at enabling faster decisions on providing and receiving operational military support within the framework of Swedish-Finnish defence cooperation, for example by the Government being authorised to take more decisions than is currently possible.
“In recent years we have taken important steps to strengthen defence cooperation between Sweden and Finland. We are taking joint responsibility both in peace time and in the event of crisis or war, which on the whole has a stabilising effect and raises the threshold for military incidents in our neighbourhood. Deepened defence cooperation between Sweden and Finland will continue to be crucial when dealing with current and future security challenges,” says Peter Hultqvist.