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UK agrees mutual security deals with Finland and Sweden


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Hungary approves Sweden joining Nato after months of delays

Yes vote comes nearly two years after historically neutral country applied to join military alliance

Miranda Bryant in Stockholm

Mon 26 Feb 2024 10.52 EST

Hungary’s parliament has approved Sweden’s Nato membership nearly two years after the historically neutral country applied to join the western military alliance, bringing to an end months of limbo and diplomatic wrangling.

The vote, which took place in Budapest on Monday, followed Friday’s meeting between the Swedish prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, and his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orbán, in which they agreed to put aside their differences – saying they were “prepared to die for each other”.

The two countries signed a new military agreement during a warm yet tightly stage-managed joint press conference in the Hungarian capital, in which Sweden promised to sell four new Gripen planes to add to the 14 Hungary has previously bought.

Turkey gave its approval to the Nordic country’s Nato ratification last month, leaving Hungary the last remaining country to do so – despite assurances from Orbán that it would not be the final Nato member to sign.

The turnaround came after the ruling Fidesz parliamentary group leader suggested last week that the issue be raised in Hungary’s parliament on Monday when it reopened after its winter break.

[...]

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/26/hungary-parliament-vote-ratify-sweden-nato-membership

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Ah, when I was born Poland bordered GDR, Czechoslovakia and USSR - none of those countries exist anymore. We also used to have access to the Baltic Sea, but it looks like it was turned into Lake NATO.

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Russia still is and will remain capable of underwater operations in the Baltic that could severely hurt Europe. The surface fleet and air power, however, has been stregically devalued big time.

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Certainly as part of any extended campaign. However, as I looked at some time ago, cruise missiles in Russian warships can reach as far afield as London, just tied up alongside in Kaliningrad.

Admittedly they wouldnt last long AFTER they launched, but...

 

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https://puolustusvoimat.fi/en/nordic-response-en

The Finnish Defence Forces will participate in the Norwegian-led exercise Nordic Response 24 to be held in the northern areas of Finland, Norway and Sweden during 4–15 March 2024. For the first time Finland will participate as a NATO member nation in exercising collective defence of the alliance’s regions. As such this marks the most substantial participation in a multinational exercise in the history of the Finnish Defence Forces. 

 Part of the Steadfast Defender 24 drills, Nordic Response 24 will have NATO nations and partners train the Alliance’s ability to reinforce troops up north for the purpose of training a defensive joint operation in arctic conditions in the areas of Finland, Norway, and Sweden. The extensive military exercise on land, at sea, and in the air is to convene altogether up to c. 20,000 soldiers from 14 countries. 

Local shops in those areas in Finland are bit befuddled how much of which items they should have in stock when multinational troops descent on them like locusts... 😅😎

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Sweden officially joins NATO

07 Mar. 2024 - | Last updated: 07 Mar. 2024 17:30

Sweden became NATO’s newest member on Thursday (7 March 2024), upon depositing its instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with the Government of the United States in Washington DC. With Sweden’s accession, NATO now counts 32 countries among its members.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “This is a historic day. Sweden will now take its rightful place at NATO’s table, with an equal say in shaping NATO policies and decisions. After over 200 years of non-alignment Sweden now enjoys the protection granted under Article 5, the ultimate guarantee of Allies’ freedom and security. Sweden brings with it capable armed forces and a first-class defence industry.  Sweden’s accession makes NATO stronger, Sweden safer and the whole Alliance more secure. Today’s accession demonstrates that NATO’s door remains open and that every nation has the right to choose its own path.” 

Sweden’s flag will be raised alongside those of the other 31 Allies in a ceremony at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday (11 March 2024), and simultaneously at NATO commands across Europe and North America. 

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_223446.htm

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This morning: Swedish flag raised at NATO headquarters. This afternoon: first joint QRA scramble by Swedish and German (out of Latvia) fighter jets to identify two Russian aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

 

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https://www.defmin.fi/en/topical/speeches/minister_of_defence_antti_hakkanens_speech_at_the_finnish_national_defence_university_8.3.2024.14230.news#30bda23e

Some highlights from our Minister of Defence speech (in link in English):

 

Russia –with its’ current regime – is the primary security challenge for Finland. No question about it. To be frank – this has always been the case. 

Russia’s policies for the last 15 years have been aggressive and confrontational. Russia has challenged the west with concealed and open operations with the aim to disrupt western societies and underestimate the rule-based world order. 

In its military operations in “near abroad” Russia has created a zone of frozen conflicts and blatantly used military force in its’ neighbors’ areas. 

There is a pattern in Russia’s behaviour. The full scale invasion of Ukraine was just the peak of this development. Minister Pistorius will most likely touch this topic a bit deeper in a minute.          

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started a chain reaction of events that are still unfolding. 

For us Finns – the change has been astronomical. Joining Nato meant a radical shift in our security thinking. 

For decades we have been preparing to defend Finland by ourselves - with our own means. 

On the positive note - this means that on comparison with our size - we still possess relatively large wartime defence and comprehensive security system that covers almost all fields of society. 

......

According to recent ABDI poll, astonishing 91% of the Finnish population is willing to defend another Nato-member in case of an aggression. 

We, as a member, like to think that we are not security consumers but rather also a security provider. 

......

 

In the field of military, we have one of Europe’s largest training areas with ample free airspace and live firing possibilities – located in the world’s most demanding environment and conditions. 

We also think that we are able to bring in the alliance our knowledge how to wage war in the Arctic. 

Outside the military field, our system of comprehensive security could serve as a model for alliance’s resilience. 

We have been able to engage the public sector and private enterprises to cooperate in resilience and safeguarding the critical functions of the society. This goes both with legislation and daily operations.

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https://www.defmin.fi/en/topical/press_releases_and_news/finland_to_boost_its_high-technology_profile_in_nato_-_an_accelerator_and_two_test_centres_to_be_established_in_finland.14241.news#30bda23e

The Board of Directors of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) have approved Finland’s proposal to establish one accelerator and two test centres in Finland.

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Posted (edited)

https://www.defmin.fi/en/topical/press_releases_and_news/finland_achieves_its_eu_ammunition_funding_goal.14245.news#30bda23e

The Finnish defence industry has been granted EUR 32.5 million in EU funding for ramping up its ammunition production. The funding decision complements the decision made by the Ministry of Defence in December to allocate approximately EUR 24 million for increasing domestic ammunition production.

Note that this funding is not directly related to number of shells produced but to expand facilities to allow larger production. 

Edited by Sardaukar
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I'm finding it amusing that there are small pockets of surprise in the western press about Finland joining Team NATO. Like, dudes, have you not read any history books?

As I've posted before, should I want to I can still get my hands on 14 different flavors of VihtaVuori reloading powder. Seems like VV should be directing their production towards 7.62x39; but for all I know, maybe the foreign revenue from VV civilian sales helps buy spicier arms in short supply. When I buy M193, I prefer to get IMI brand (produced here in 'Murrica I I believe) partly due to the hope that some sliver of revenue buys the proverbial "party favors" for the IDF.

 

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On 3/11/2024 at 4:48 PM, BansheeOne said:

This morning: Swedish flag raised at NATO headquarters. This afternoon: first joint QRA scramble by Swedish and German (out of Latvia) fighter jets to identify two Russian aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

 

For a happy moment, I thought the VC10 had made a comeback. Alas...

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10 hours ago, Rick said:

Does the U.S.M.C. still do deployments to Norway?

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/463116/us-marines-norwegian-army-collaborate-operations-tactics-ahead-natos-exercise-nordic-response-24

USMC leadership loves the joint exercises with Norway. If the Marines ever discontinue going, start digging your fallout shelter.

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2 hours ago, Ivanhoe said:

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/463116/us-marines-norwegian-army-collaborate-operations-tactics-ahead-natos-exercise-nordic-response-24

USMC leadership loves the joint exercises with Norway. If the Marines ever discontinue going, start digging your fallout shelter.

That has its risks, however.

 

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We have started to give cold weather training to increasing number of foreign troops. US mainly and even French.

Only limiting factor is number of instructors and facilities. But we do have largest training areas (plus live fire areas, especially for artillery) in Europe. 

 

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10 hours ago, sunday said:

That has its risks, however.

 

Nothing like hot coffee through the nostrils! That was hilarious!

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