Finland and Sweden seek US defense guarantees in ‘Northern Fortress’ alliance to deter Russian ambitions in the Nordic region

According to sources cited by the Finnish press, Finland and Sweden are applying for “Major Non-NATO Ally” status with the United States

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Przemysław Molik/PAP

An alliance between the United States and non-NATO members, Finland and Sweden, will create a common security system for the Nordic region, with Finnish press declaring 2022 as a breakthrough period for the country in terms of its national security as the “essential burying of neutrality.”

Bilateral and tripartite agreements between the two nations, along with NATO and guaranteed by the U.S. — labeled the so-called “Northern Fortress” — is intended to weaken Russia’s ambitions in the Nordic region, according to Finland’s commentariat.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto held talks with President Joe Biden in Washington on Friday evening, during which the U.S. president called Stockholm, and within a matter of hours, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson had traveled to Helsinki.

On Monday, the prime ministers of Finland and Norway released a joint statement concerning the deepening of defense cooperation as part of a trilateral agreement with Sweden.

Finnish media have pointed out that bilateral alliances may turn out to be more beneficial to Finland because decisions will be made quicker and the path to NATO is dependent on several factors.

According to sources of the Finnish tabloid Iltalehti, Finland and Sweden are applying for MNNA (Major Non-NATO Ally) status in the United States. Such a status — which American authorities give to their most important partners and would further consolidate the security of the region — has been afforded to several countries around the world including Israel, Kuwait, South Korea and Japan.

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