Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nordic military alliance and Russia


Nordic Countries, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland are trying to establish a joint military alliance that will be form Nordic Military Alliance. Hence, Nanna Hvidt and Hans Hækkerup from Denmark, Ulla Maria Antilla and Tuomas Forsberg from Finland, Gudmundur Alfredsson and Kristrún Heimisdóttir from Iceland, Julie Christiansen and Henrik Thune from Norway and Urban Ahlin and Gøran Lennmarker from Sweden came together in this year. `Some of the main points that emerged from these talks are as follows: • There is a widespread desire in all the Nordic countries to strengthen Nordic cooperation. • There is a widely held perception that because of their geographical proximity, the Nordic countries have many foreign and security policy interests in common, despite their different forms of association with the EU and NATO. • There is a widely held view that the Nordic region is becoming increasingly important in geopolitical and strategic terms. This is a result of the role of the Nordic seas as a production and transit area for gas for European markets and of the changes taking place in the Arctic. • The EU and NATO are showing a growing interest in regional cooperation between member states and non-member states. • All the Nordic countries are willing to cooperate with the UN. There is widespread interest in expanding the Nordic force contribution to UN operations on the basis of current needs and the comparative advantages of the Nordic countries. • The Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish chiefs of defence have recently drawn up a report containing proposals for cooperation to ensure that their defence budgets are used as cost effectively as possible. Modern defence technology is becoming increasingly expensive, making it more difficult for individual countries to fund a modern defence system. This in itself creates a need for Nordic cooperation in the defence sector. I have found the report from the chiefs of defence valuable in my work. • The Nordic countries are responsible for the management of large sea areas. Climate change and melting of the sea ice will open the way for considerable activity in these areas, including new shipping routes through Arctic waters to the Pacific Ocean. This means that Nordic cooperation in the northern seas and the Arctic is highly relevant.` After these important points of talks, in the extraordinary meeting of Nordic foreign ministers in Oslo on 9 February 2009, a veteran Norwegian politician Thorvald Stoltenberg said that `I have drawn up 13 specific proposals for strengthening Nordic cooperation. They have been designed with a view to enabling all the Nordic countries to participate. Nevertheless, in several cases it will be most natural for two or more countries to initiate cooperation, and for the rest to join in as and when they wish.` Moreover, Thorvald Stoltenberg presented a report about this allience. You can reach the report from http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/UD/Vedlegg/nordic_report.pdf Nordic countries try to protect their interests on the region and they are right on this issue. However, there is an interesting thing here when you read news from the Russian Media. Russia sees this alliance as a threat herself. Actually, Russia`s suspicions are right on this issue. Because, Nordic countries are very close to Russia as geographically. Also, Russia does not want to lose power on Arctic Sea and Baltic Sea. `For Russia formation of the Nordic Alliance could possibly mean that it will be able to speak directly to the Arctic countries, thus by-passing NATO, for 60 years now wholly controlled by the US, which in turn could mean that purely economic interests would prevail. However, this is only if the US does not enter the new organisation, because, strangely enough, it has Arctic territories too. ` Because of these reasons, Russia is right when she sees the Nordic Military Alliance as a threat herself. You can read the full article about the Nordic Military Alliance by a Russian news center; 
Isa Burak GONCA 
References:
http://www.russiatoday.com/Politics/2009-02-10/Nordic_military_alliance_to_challenge_Russia_in_Arctic.html   http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/UD/Vedlegg/nordic_report.pdf  http://www.russiatoday.com/Politics/2009-02-10/Nordic_military_alliance_to_challenge_Russia_in_Arctic.html
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