Sweden ‘should deepen defence ties with Norway’

Sweden plans to deepen defence cooperation with Nato member Norway. Military chiefs in both countries have proposed the idea, and have been supported by Sweden's defence minister, Mikael Odenberg.

The two countries have a long history of military cooperation, both in international peacekeeping operations and in defence procurement.

Now, Supreme Commander Håkan Syrén, chief of Sweden’s armed forces, and his Norwegian counterpart Sverre Diesen, have said that this partnership should be extended. The “globalization of security challenges combined with the increased cost of technology” made it necessary to cooperate to achieve “financial and operative balance,” the two defence chiefs wrote in Friday’s Dagens Nyheter.

Sweden and Norway have spent the past year examining how they could cooperate more. They have concluded that purchasing submarines, tanks and other equipment can be an area for cooperation, as can maintenance, exercises, research and logistics.

Defence Minister Mikael Odenberg said that the proposals were “in line with what I have said.” He added that he did not see anything controversial about cooperating with another country. This despite Sweden’s tradition of not joining military alliances and the fact that Norway is a member of Nato.