Opening remarks: meeting of the Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence,

Norwegian Minister of Defence, Mr Bjørn Arild Gram: Nato in the North

NATO is a cornerstone in Norway’s security policy today, as it has been since its foundation – and Norway takes active part in the shaping of NATO’s strategy throughout the alliance.

The relevance of the High North is steadily increasing as a stage for global competition.
A large portion of Russia’s nuclear capabilities are located at the Kola Peninsula, including its carriers. The importance of this capability has grown proportionally with the decline of Russia’s conventional capabilities.

The vast amount of natural resources in the High North is important to us all. Not only Norway and Russia. We share a common responsibility to exploit and preserve these resources both in our time, but also for future generations. In order to achieve that the baseline is security and predictability. NATO is – and will remain the most important security provider for peace and stability in the area.

Our deterrence posture in the region will grow stronger as we are welcoming Finland and Sweden into the Alliance.
The Allies in the region have a particular responsibility for developing NATO’s deterrence in the High North. […]

With all of the Nordic countries together in NATO, we can better reap the benefits of our well-established cooperation by affiliating all the nations to Joint Force Command Norfolk. This recommendation is based on sound military advice from all the Nordic CHODs.

Between the Nordic nations, there is a close dialogue on how the defence cooperation should develop to bolster not only the defence of this region, but also benefit the security of the alliance as a whole.

Joint Force Command Norfolk is on a path of becoming the HQ capable of taking charge in the north-western direction. We need to continue to bolster our effort to set the conditions for this to happen sooner, rather than later. Norway will do its part to ensure JFC Norfolk meet the requirements to command its regional plan. And SACEUR has to decide when the time has come. Läs artikel