Defence Ministers from Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) nations met in Oslo, Norway, on 14–15 June to discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on European security and ways to strengthen security in the region in cooperation with NATO. During the table-top exercise the role of the JEF in the Baltic Sea and the High North in crisis and conflict situations was discussed.
‘The task of the Joint Expeditionary Force is to rapidly and flexibly complement NATO’s capabilities in the event of crises and conflicts, especially in its own focus areas,’ said Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet at the meeting.
‘In the context of the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the Joint Expeditionary Force is able to support Ukraine in various areas, including humanitarian assistance and training, or in the field of information. Various options were discussed,’ Laanet added.
Coalition Defence Ministers welcomed the decision by Finland and Sweden to join NATO and agreed to boost JEF activities in the region during their path to NATO membership. The package of JEF military activities on land, at sea, and in the air was agreed upon by Defence Ministers at their last meeting, in February.
‘We must always be prepared for the most dangerous scenario and do everything we can to prevent it from happening. A shared picture of the situation and rehearsed plans to help us increase our preparedness for rapid response are of importance,’ said Defence Minister Kalle Laanet.
The Joint Expeditionary Force is a coalition initiated and led by the United Kingdom, which also includes Estonia, Holland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. Areas of focus for the coalition are the Baltic Sea region, the High North and the North Atlantic region. Upon activation of the Joint Expeditionary Force, Great Britain will provide the necessary command and control elements, which the Member States will supplement with their own capabilities.
Photos from the meeting: https://www.flickr.com/photos/forsvarsdepartementet/
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