Twenty warships set to patrol Baltic Sea and North Atlantic

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Twenty warships set to patrol Baltic Sea and North Atlantic
Finland's Minister of Defence Mikko Savola and his Swedish counterpart Pål Jonson. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

A coalition of northern European countries, including Sweden, Norway and Denmark, have agreed to deploy 20 warships in the area to protect critical infrastructure.


After a meeting of defence ministers of the 10 countries in the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), the group said it had agreed to activate "a JEF Response Option."

"This includes Maritime and Air capabilities which will deploy across the JEF's core region as a military contribution to the protection of critical undersea infrastructure," the ministers said in a joint declaration.

"This marks the first time a JEF Response Option has been activated," they continued adding the "activity will take place in early December".

In October, leaders from the group's member countries agreed to boost protection of underwater infrastructure after a pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia sprung a leak, believed to be the result of "external" activity.

Finnish police have said they believe the pipeline was damaged by an anchor belonging to a Chinese ship.

"It is about conducting maritime surveillance, some 20 warships will be active in the Baltic Sea but also in parts of the North Atlantic to take into account the security situation and better protect critical underwater infrastructure," Swedish Minister for Defence Pål Jonson told public broadcaster SVT.


Jonson did not say the activity was in response to a specific threat but was "a symptom of a very serious security situation in the world, but above all in our own neighbourhood".

"Then we must be able to conduct these sorts of operations to be able to defend critical infrastructure, but also to send signals to Russia."

In September 2022, a series of underwater blasts ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Western Europe, at a time of high geopolitical tensions as Moscow cut gas supplies to Europe.

The JEF is a coalition of 10 states focused on security in northern Europe, including Britain, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also