Defence cooperation with Finland

Sweden and Finland work on the basis of similar security policies. Both countries wish to expand upon our already extensive cooperation in respect of defence. In accordance with the 2015 Defence Act, Sweden interacts with Finland both bilaterally and within existing multilateral fora such as the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), the European Union, the United Nations and NATO.

Swedish and Finnish officers at the Lomben firing range. Photo taken during Army Exercise 19. Photo: Emy Åklundh/Swedish Armed Forces
Working together is usually easy thanks to similar cultures and approaches. Photo: Finnish Defence Forces
A Jas 39 Gripen and a Finnish FA-18 Hornet during Air Force Exercise 19. Photo: Kristoffer Olofsson/Swedish Armed Forces
Finland’s Guard Jaeger Regiment on exercises at the Land Warfare Centre in Kvarn. Photo: Alf Johansson/Swedish Armed Forces
Swedish and Finnish officers and soldiers made up the first Mobile Training Team (MTT) in Mali for the Nordic defence partnership NORDEFCO. Photo: Hampus Hagstedt/Swedish Armed Forces
Swedish and Finnish minesweepers at sea. Photo: Swedish Armed Forces

The Nordics is a fantastic part of the world that is worth defending. With our shared values and similar interests, Sweden and Finland have embarked upon a more extensive defence partnership. We have a long tradition of partnership in respect of defence, and in 2014 the then Ministers of Defence signed an action plan for more extensive defence cooperation between the countries.

The aim of this defence cooperation between Sweden and Finland is to improve the defensive capabilities of the countries, conduct joint operations and promote collective interests in respect of defence, including increase the security situation in the Baltic Sea region. The partnership has been expanded upon in multiple stages over the last few years.

Since 2015, the Government has allowed the Armed Forces to manage more extensive defence partnership with Finland; in the defence policy alignment decision for the period 2016-2020, and in Appropriation Directions. The Government has also made a number of separate decisions aiming to expand upon the partnership with Finland in a number of specific fields.

In July 2018, the Swedish and Finnish Ministers of Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This memorandum specifies a number of fields where the partnership is to be developed. It relates to areas such as communication on defence and security policy, exercises and training, as well as surveillance and maintaining territorial integrity. The countries will also have access to one another’s territories for the parties’ military units, host nation support and measures to create conditions for joint military action, including operational and tactical planning and interoperability.