“IThis includes maritime and air capabilities that will be deployed in the heart of the JEF region, constituting a military contribution to the protection of crucial underwater infrastructure”, stressed the defense ministers of the ten countries in a statement, after a meeting.
“This is the first time that a defense clause has been activated by the JEF”, they clarified, indicating that these activities will start “at the beginning of December”.
The JEF is a coalition of 10 countries led by the United Kingdom, which includes Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, associated around operational defense issues in northern Europe.
Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson explained that the action will involve “maritime surveillance”, with “around twenty warships” being deployed in the Baltic Sea, but also in areas of the North Atlantic to take “into account the situation of security and better protect critical underwater infrastructure.”
Jonson stressed, in statements to public broadcaster SVT, that it is a matter of facing “a very serious security situation in the world”, and in particular in the neighboring regions of these northern European countries.
“We must be able to carry out this type of operation to defend our vital infrastructure, but also to send a signal to Russia,” he added.
JEF countries agreed in October to strengthen security in the Baltic after a Finnish undersea gas pipeline was shut down due to a leak caused by “external” intervention.
Finnish police eventually established that the damage was apparently caused by the anchor found at the site of a Chinese merchant ship that subsequently left the area.
But this incident raised speculation after the explosions that affected, in September 2022, the two Nord Stream submarine pipelines that transported Russian gas to Western Europe, at a time of a standoff with Moscow over the war in Ukraine.
The military offensive launched on February 24, 2022 by Russia in Ukraine caused, according to the most recent UN data, the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).
The Russian invasion – justified by the Russian President with the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security – was condemned by most of the international community, which has responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political sanctions on Russia. and economic.
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