March 4, 2022
From now on, NATO is sharing all information pertaining to the ongoing war in Ukraine with close partners Sweden and Finland, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced Friday.
“In response to Russia’s aggression, we have decided to strengthen our coordination and information-sharing with Finland and Sweden,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels, adding, “Both countries are now taking part in all NATO consultations about the crisis.”
Stoltenberg’s announcement comes as calls have mounted for the two Nordic countries to formally join the alliance. Finland and Sweden are two of six Enhanced Opportunity Partners with NATO, representing the closest partnership a nation can have with the alliance without being a member. The other four EOPs are Australia, Georgia, Jordan, and Ukraine – the latter being selected in 2020.
Helsinki and Stockholm have been considered to be in a tier of their own within the EOPs. That’s thanks to “the sophistication of their militaries, the stability of their democratic political systems, and their critical geography of the Baltic Sea bridging NATO’s Nordic and Baltic countries,” analysts Anna Wieslander and Christopher Skaluba wrote in a March 3 report for the Atlantic Council.