NATO Secretary General welcomes deepened cooperation with Finland and Sweden

Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen: “280,000 troops for our wartime forces.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised Finland and Sweden’s close partnership with NATO while visiting the Berga Naval Base with the North Atlantic Council, on Wednesday (27 October 2021). During the visit, they had the opportunity to witness the joint Swedish/Finnish Naval Exercise, SWENEX-21.

“It is important that NATO Allies, Finland and Sweden continue to train and exercise together” said the Secretary General. “Over the years, we have been working more and more closely together and we have seen the security situation in the region deteriorate, with Russia’s aggressive posturing and its military build-up. This makes our cooperation even more important” he added, speaking alongside the Swedish Defence Minister, Peter Hultqvist, and the Finnish Defence Minister, Antti Kaikkonen.

Although Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Bydén, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen are all Scandinavians, the press conference was conducted entirely in NATO’s official language: English.