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Sweden and Denmark Reach Bilateral Defense Agreement

January 21, 2016 (Photo Credit: Khalid al-Mousily/AFP)

HELSINKI — Sweden has signed a memorandum of understanding with Denmark that will lead to a deepening in bilateral defense cooperation and practical military enhancing collaboration between the two Nordic countries.

The agreement, which was signed by Swedish and Danish Defence Ministers Peter Hultqvist and Peter Christensen, respectively, includes practical elements such as the operation of joint tasks, the sharing of naval port and air base infrastructure, and increased training and exercises.

The bilateral pact, which represents a significant deepening in concrete defense cooperation between neutral Sweden and NATO-aligned Denmark, was influenced by the Kremlin’s muscle flexing, which has created a more unpredictable security landscape in the wider Baltic Sea area in particular.  

"Within the agreement, it will be possible for the military units of both countries to use each other’s naval ports and air bases in peacetime, as well as exchange information," Hultqvist said

The infrastructure-sharing arrangement would provide both the Swedish and Danish militaries with definite advantages in strengthening both national and regional defense tasks, said Hultqvist.

"By working together to analyze data on the prevailing situation and exchanging information, we can have a constant common picture about what is happening in the Baltic region. In this way, we can jointly deal with problems that may arise," he said.

The closer-sharing-of-information component in the bilateral agreement will include improved surveillance to track the movements and activities of Russian naval vessels, aircraft, and other forces in the Baltic Sea area and the High North.

The agreement has the capacity to give both countries more "eyes and ears" in the near neighborhood and wider region, said Christensen.

"It will now be possible for Danish F-16s from our defense readiness units to cross into Swedish territory in connection with the ejection of foreign aircraft flying in to Danish territory. Among other things this will shorten our response times," Christensen said.

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