Sweden will sign a defense cooperation agreement with Norway and Denmark this week to counter a deteriorating security situation in the Baltic region, Sweden’s TV4 said on Thursday.
Sweden, which is not a member of NATO but enjoys close ties with the bloc, is rebuilding its military after decades of neglect as a result of growing tensions with Russia in the Baltic region.
“If there is a crisis situation we will be considerably better prepared in that we will have coordinated our planning in this region,” Sweden’s Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist told TV4.
“In practice, we will be able to react more quickly.”
He said that the combined resources of the three countries would help deter a potential antagonist.
Sweden has boosted military spending – including agreeing to buy Patriot missiles from the United States – and deepened its military cooperation with NATO and neighboring countries like Finland in recent years in response to heightened tensions with Russia.
“We know that Russia is prepared to use military power in order to achieve its political goals and aims,” Hultqvist said.
“We are deepening our cooperation with the other countries in this region precisely in order to raise the bar in preventing disruptions and crises.”