NATO strengthens cooperation with Finland and Sweden
NATO is set to strengthen its coordination with Finland and Sweden over the crisis in Ukraine, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced at an extraordinary meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels.
The announcement came at a press conference attended by Stoltenberg and representatives from Finland, Sweden and the European Union, as he outlined the work being done to present a unified front, claiming “NATO is more united, more determined, and stronger than ever.”
Alongside the pledge of enhanced cooperation, the top NATO official was clear that the alliance’s “relationship with Russia has fundamentally changed for the long term,” but did offer to keep “channels for diplomacy and deconfliction open.”
NATO set out how the alliance must work to keep “North American and Europe standing together” in the face of the Ukraine crisis, highlighting the importance of “strategic solidarity” as Stoltenberg felt the situation shows “no country and no continent can go it alone.”
Following the press conference with Finland and Sweden, Stoltenberg met with EU foreign ministers to discuss how the two entities can work to address the current crisis and respond in a coordinated manner. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was also at NATO headquarters for a meeting with Stoltenberg.
Amid the escalating conflict in Ukraine, NATO is deploying its response force for the first time in the alliance’s history, placing over 130 jets on high alert and over 200 ships from the high north to the Mediterranean, asserting that members will work to “protect and defend every inch of NATO territory.”