Norway and Denmark give guarantee to Nordic neighbours over Nato bids

Norway, Denmark and Iceland stated on Monday they would provide assistance "by all means necessary" to their Nordic neighbours, Sweden and Finland, should either of the latter two countries face attacks on their territory before joining Nato.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has announced her government's decision to take Sweden into Nato. File photo: JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP

The Danish Prime Minister’s office on Monday issued a joint statement on behalf of Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

“Finland and Sweden’s security is a matter of common concern to us all. Should Finland or Sweden be victim of aggression on their territory before obtaining Nato membership, we will assist Finland and Sweden by all means necessary,” the statement reads.

Earlier on Monday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced her government’s decision to take Sweden into Nato, ending two centuries of military non-alignment.

Sweden and Finland have both expressed a desire to act in lockstep on Nato membership and submit their applications jointly.

“We strongly welcome Finland and Sweden’s decisions to apply for Nato membership,” the statement from Denmark, Norway and Iceland read.

“We note that the decisions by Finland and Sweden to apply for Nato membership are sovereign national decisions in line with Finland and Sweden’s right to choose their own security arrangements. Finland and Sweden have the right to pursue their accession process without any attempts of outside interference,” the three countries said in the statement.

Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Støre said that “together with Denmark and Iceland, Norway stands ready to assist its Nordic neighbours by all means necessary should they be the victim of aggression on their territory before obtaining Nato membership.”

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told media on Monday afternoon that the government would forward a motion to parliament “as soon as possible” on the Swedish and Finnish applications to join Nato.

She added that Denmark is fully behind the applications to join the defence alliance.

“In our eyes, this brings an opportunity to strengthen Nordic partnerships, including on security and defence,” she said.

“We therefore want Denmark to do everything it can to make sure Finland and Sweden join Nato as soon as possible,” she said.

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Could Denmark benefit from Swedish and Finnish Nato membership?

Turkey has dropped its objections to Sweden and Finland joining Nato, paving the way for the two Nordic nations to join the North Atlantic defence alliance. Could Denmark benefit?

Could Denmark benefit from Swedish and Finnish Nato membership?

Sweden and Finland appear closer to joining Nato after a major stumbling block appeared to be cleared on Wednesday.

Nato on Wednesday evening said that the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland had all signed a trilateral memorandum which addressed “Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns”. 

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Nato leaders would as a result now be able to issue a formal invitation to Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. 

Denmark stands to gain political weight and status within the defence alliance once Sweden and Finland are members, a Danish military analyst said.

“From a security politics point of view, this would give a close Nordic alliance within Nato,” Hans Peter Michaelsen, military analyst at the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for Military Studies, told news wire Ritzau.

Swedish and Finnish Nato membership could also benefit Denmark militarily, he said.

“Denmark, Sweden and Finland could now support each other militarily,” he said.

“We can complement each other with our different strengths. We can begin to look at distributing burdens internally between the countries. I’m thinking of areas such as the Baltic Sea region here,” he said.

Sweden has a strong navy which is attentive to the Baltic Sea, he noted.

“That means that Nato will command an area where Russia otherwise perhaps did not feel threatened,” he said.

“That will make the Russians consider their future strategy in the region,” he said.

Stoltenberg also cited the Baltic Sea region following the withdrawal by Turkey of its objections.

“This changes the entire balance of power in the Baltic Sea and Baltic Region,” Stoltenberg said according to news wire Ritzau.

With Sweden and Finland in the alliance along with Denmark and the Baltic countries, Nato countries will control all sea access to the Baltic Sea and thereby Russian ports in the region.

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