Arctic dimension for Nordic security
Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Norwegian foreign minister, presented his report on Nordic foreign and security policy cooperation at an extraordinary meeting of the Nordic foreign ministers. The meeting was held Monday 9 February at the Voksenåsen Conference Hotel in Oslo.
The five Nordic countries should strengthen security cooperation in the Arctic, Stoltenberg concluded in his report on Nordic defence cooperation.
In June 2008, the Nordic foreign ministers commissioned Stoltenberg to produce an independent report on how Nordic cooperation on foreign and security policy could be developed during the coming 10–15 years. A group of ten experts from all the countries have assisted Stoltenberg with the report. There will be a formal discussion of the report at the ordinary meeting of the Nordic foreign ministers in Reykjavik in spring 2009.
With a frontpage design displaying a map of the great waters of the North Atlantic and the Arctic, there is hardly any doubt that the report on Nordic defence cooperation includes a high focus on marine issues, as well as a view towards Arctic challenges.
Although touching on a range of issues and 13 fields of potential cooperation, the report does have the Arctic as a key focus.
“It is widely believed that the Nordic area will have an increasing geopolitical and strategic importance, following the Nordic waters’ role as production and transit area for oil and gas to the European markets and the development of the Arctic”, the report reads. “With climate change and ice melting, these [Arctic] waters are opened for considerably activities, including new shipping routes […] This makes it interesting with Nordic cooperation in the sea areas and the Arctic,” it continues.