Swedish soldiers to join Nato response force

Swedish soldiers have been given the green light to take part next month in the Nato Response Force's biggest training exercise in seven years, a project called Steadfast Jazz that will be carried out in Poland and Latvia.

Swedish soldiers to join Nato response force

The approval came on Monday courtesy of the North Atlantic Council, the highest political body of Nato, and will see Swedish soldiers heading to eastern Europe in November.

“I welcome Sweden’s participation, alongside that of Finland and Ukraine. Our relationship is already strong, and this will make it even stronger,” Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.

The training is designed to test and certify the NRF, which is Nato’s rapid-reaction formation, working on defending member nations against an attack and forming a unit that could be deployed anywhere in the world.

“The Nato Response Force is the spearhead of this Alliance: a rapid-reaction group able to defend any Ally, deploy anywhere, and deal with any threat. Exercise Steadfast Jazz will make sure that the spearhead is sharp, and ready to use,” Fogh Rasmussen added.

The news was welcomed by Sweden’s Defence Minister Karin Enström.

“The important thing is that we get access to the advanced training exercises that get carried out within the NRF frameworks by being accepted as participants,” Enström told the TT news agency.

“And this is important to maintain and develop our defence capabilities.”

Sweden offered forces, including aircraft, ships and land forces, to the next four rotations of the NRF, and becomes the fourth partner to join the force following Finland, Ukraine, and Georgia.

TT/The Local/og

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Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.