The Finnish and Swedish foreign ministers will meet with NATO and say they want to stay on top

The Finnish and Swedish foreign ministers will meet with NATO and say they want to stay on top

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto (Green) joined his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde meeting with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Alliance headquarters in Brussels on Monday.

They are said to be discussing security concerns over tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

In a press conference after the meeting, Stoltenberg reiterated that co-operation with Sweden and Finland is vital for NATO, as is the sharing of assessments as it progresses.

"It is important for the whole Baltic Sea region," he noted.

The Secretary General also stressed that while NATO is working closely with the two countries, it also respects their independence and freedom to choose their own security policy.

In his statement, Haavisto welcomed NATO’s open door policy.

"Cooperation between Finland, Sweden and NATO will strengthen the stability of the Baltic Sea region in the near future. Cooperation benefits all parties," He said and added that the basic principles of European security must be respected and that violating these principles would undermine the foundations of international security.

Linde said that Russia’s actions, ie the gathering of troops on the Ukrainian border and its threatening rhetoric, are of great concern to Sweden.

"NATO and the EU have made it clear to Russia that there is no room for armed conflict in Europe and that the consequences of a further attack would be enormous." he said.

Mr Stoltenberg emphasized that the organization would continue diplomatic talks and dialogue with Russia, seeing the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels in January as a step in the right direction.

Commenting on the increase in NATO forces in the Baltic States and Poland, the Secretary General noted "this is a defense. NATO is not a threat to Russia."

According to Stoltenberg, there is also talk in the region of increasing air surveillance and the presence of the fleet.

Source: The Nordic Page

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