On June 13th, Finland’s parliament speaker Matti Vanhanen promoted the idea of jointly organizing the air defense control in the Arctic Circle between the Nordic countries Finland, Norway, and Sweden at an event discussing N.A.T.O. and security policy with Norweigan prime minister Jonas Gahr Stoere. This statement comes as Sweden and Finland, traditionally neutral nations, attempt to join N.A.T.O. to deter the expansion of Russian military aggression beyond Ukraine. Finland and Sweden have participated in military exercises with N.A.T.O. in the past; in 2018, they hosted aircraft deployments and made their airspaces available during N.A.T.O.’s Trident Juncture 18 exercise in Norway, and they recently joined U.S.-led naval exercise BALTOPS 22 in the Baltic Sea.
“We all three – Sweden, Norway and Finland – have relatively strong airforces and we have to control our borders and airspace. It would be most natural that in the coming years the controlling of the airspace would be common,” Vanhanen said. Carisa Nietsche, an associate fellow for the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, claimed that Finland’s and Sweden’s admission to N.A.T.O. would mean that “Arctic security would continue to climb on N.A.T.O.’s agenda.”
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