The Nordic countries are banding together against Russia's Arctic push
by JEREMY BENDER
The Nordic countries, not generally known for extreme foreign policies or a habit of overreacting to current events, have started to voice increasingly louder concerns over Russia's role in the Baltics and the Arctic.
In early April, the five Nordic nations — Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland — announced their plans to expand defense ties.
The move toward further collective defense treaties showcases just how concerned these states have become: Iceland, Denmark, and Norway are already full NATO members. Sweden and Finland had steered away from the organization out of concerns over infuriating Russia — but they are thinking about the alliance again.
In any case, as Moscow plays a larger belligerent role in the Arctic and the Baltics, Finland and Sweden have reevaluated the risks and have found banding together with the other Nordic countries to be worth the increased risk of an angry Russia.
"Russia's actions are the biggest challenge to the European security," the defense ministers from the Nordic nations said in a joint declaration. "Russia's propaganda and political maneuvering are contributing to sowing discord between nations, and inside organizations like NATO and the EU.
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