Article from Ministry of Defence

Control of Baltic Sea in focus during defence ministers’ meeting on Gotland

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Security around the Baltic Sea and enhanced defence cooperation were on the agenda when Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist met his Nordic and Baltic colleagues on Gotland.

The Nordic and Baltic defence ministers are standing outside the Gotland Regiment base P 18.
Friday 2 September, the Nordic and Baltic defence ministers met at the Gotland Regiment base P 18 to discuss defence cooperation. Photo: Tomas Ängshammar/Swedish Armed Forces

In view of the security situation in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mr Hultqvist invited the Nordic and Baltic defence ministers to a day-long meeting at the Gotland Regiment base on 2 September.

Mr Hultqvist stated that there are an average of 3 000–4 000 vessel movements in the Baltic Sea every day and that Sweden’s and Finland’s future membership of NATO will change the conditions for control of the Baltic Sea.

“If all the countries around the Baltic Sea, except Russia, are members of NATO, they will be in a strong position to control the sea and air routes,” said Mr Hultqvist after the meeting.

During their meeting, the defence ministers discussed how their countries could strengthen defence cooperation to jointly meet common future threats. They focused on Gotland’s strategic position and the enhanced defence cooperation that will be made possible after Sweden and Finland become members of NATO.

“The countries represented here today are prepared to increase their defence cooperation in order to contribute to security in the Baltic Sea as well as in the rest of Europe,” said Mr Hultqvist.