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NATO

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?
Swedish, Finnish, Turkish and Nato leaders and officials in Madrid on Wednesday. Photo: Murat Cetin Muhurdar/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

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.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: What is in Sweden’s deal with Turkey over Nato?

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RUSSIA

Russian warship violates Danish waters

A Russian corvette twice violated Denmark's territorial waters in the Baltic Sea on Friday, the Danish armed forces said.

Russian warship violates Danish waters
The Russian vessel first crossed into the Danish waters north of the island of Christianso, south of Sweden, at 1230 am GMT.
 
“A few hours later, the same corvette crossed into Danish waters again, also north of Christianso,” the Danish military said in a statement.
 
“Following a call on civilian VHF radio from the Navy’s maritime operations unit, the Russian ship immediately left Danish territorial waters,” it added. The military said it had “nothing further to add”.
 
Denmark’s foreign ministry later said it had been in talks with the Russian ambassador, and noted that the incursion occurred after a Russian military spy plane violated its airspace in late March.
 
“Russia is again ignoring the international rule book by not respecting borders. It has been communicated in very clear terms to the Russian ambassador that this kind of action is completely unacceptable,” foreign
minister Jeppe Kofod said in a separate statement.

 
“A deeply irresponsible, gross and completely unacceptable Russian provocation in the middle of #fmdk,” Kofod added on Twitter, referring to the democracy festival, Folkemødet.
 
 
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, as well as several members of her cabinet and opposition leaders are currently attending the four-day festival discussing climate, defence policy and other matters.
 
Denmark is a member of NATO and has sent both anti-tank launchers and an anti-ship missile system to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February.
 
Christianso is located some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
 
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