From the Arctic coast to Lapland. Nordic countries establish cross-border military transport corridor

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - June 21, 2024
Finnish President Alexander Stubb, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Støre onboard a Norwegian naval vessel. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Norwegian Armed Forces

Finland, Norway and Sweden had decided to develop an allied corridor for transportation of military personnel and equipment

“We today agreed to establish a military transport corridor across North Norway, North Norway and North Finland,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre confirmed after meetings with Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson and Finnish President Alexander Stubb.

“It will enable us to quickly move personnel and equipment from Norwegian ports through Sweden and to Finland,” he added in a statement.

The three Nordic leaders on the 19-20th of June met in the north Norwegian town of Bodø to discuss security and military cooperation. The town is home to Norwegian Joint Headquarters.

“The fact that Norway, Sweden and Finland now are together in NATO is good for Norwegian, Nordic and allied security,” Støre underlined. “We can cooperate about defending each other in a completely different way,” he explained.

The new west-east corridor will able NATO to rapidly move forces across the Nordic region.

The cross-border logistical route was tested already this spring when a big number of U.S troops, vehicles and equipment were shipped to the Norwegian town of Narvik and subsequently transported into nearby Sweden and ultimately into northern Finland.

The troops and equipment belonged to the US Army 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division that were to be deployed in the allied exercise Immediate Response 2024 (IR24).

The north Norwegian town of Narvik has a major seaport and railway connection to Sweden, and is therefore an important hub for the logistical cooperation.

Nordic defence minister and leaders meet in Bodø, Norway. From the left: Antti Hakkanen, Bjørn Arild Gram, Alexander Stubb, Jonas Gahr Støre, Ulf Kristersson and Pål Jonson. Photo: Norwegian Government

Also the three countries’ defence ministers were present in Bodø. They confirmed a determination to continue to facilitate allied operations, deterrence and defence in the northern parts of the region.

“We are now developing regional defence plans for this area, and take the measures needed for the plans to be successfully implemented,” Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said.

Located in Kirkenes, Norway, just a few kilometres from the borders to Russia and Finland, the Barents Observer is dedicated to cross-border journalism in Scandinavia, Russia and the wider Arctic.

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