Nordic states to deepen security cooperation amid Russian aggression

"We believe that Nordic cooperation is more important than ever in these times."

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OSLO — The five Nordic states say they want to cooperate even more closely on security and defense issues in the future, spurred on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We believe that Nordic cooperation is more important than ever in these times,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre after a meeting with his counterparts in Oslo on Monday.

The five leaders agreed that their countries’ foreign and defense ministers should go through all areas of security policy “to see if we can go deeper and maximize our common interests.”

The Nordic meeting also addressed Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession process, climate issues and energy cooperation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was to join the prime ministers of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland for some of the talks.

The German government has been trying for months to forge a closer partnership with the Nordics in order to get away from Russian gas imports. Norway has been Germany’s most important gas supplier since the drastic cut in Russian gas supplies in mid-June.

“I am very pleased that in Norway we have a secure, democratic and reliable partner in supplying energy to Germany and Europe,” Scholz said after talks with Støre. He added that the two countries now want to cooperate even more closely in the field of renewable energies.

“Norway is committed to being a stable gas supplier for Germany,” Støre said.

Scholz travels on to Sweden, where he will meet Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in private on Tuesday morning.