Regional security in Northern Europe was the main topic of the ministerial meeting of the Northern Group which concluded in Reykjavik today. Iceland is currently chairing the Northern Group. Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, chaired the meeting. The ministers issued a joint statement in which they underline their condemnation of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine and their solidarity in face of the threat that the invasion poses to security in Europe and in the North Atlantic region.
On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, Minister Gylfadóttir and Morten Bødskov, Minister of Defence of Denmark, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on increasing security and defence cooperation between the two countries. The UK Defence Secretary also signed a new Framework Agreement with Finland as both countries look to deepen their bilateral relationship with each other in areas such as intelligence sharing, countering hybrid threats, improving interoperability and developing the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).
The Ministers visited the security zone at Keflavik Airport. “It is valuable for us to be able to provide insight to our closest allies and partners into how we in Iceland manage our security and defence, and how we contribute to our shared security environment in the North Atlantic and the Arctic as a nation without armed forces. It is also important in light of the security situation in Europe, which we discussed in our meeting this morning and affects all our nations,” Minister Gylfadóttir says.
The Northern Group is a security and defence forum of twelve like-minded Northern European nations. All the Nordic countries are members of the group,There are twelve member nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK. . The Chair rotates every six months and will be assumed by Norway mid-year. Northern Group nations are committed to maintaining security and stability in northern European region and the wider continent, as well as strengthening the bonds with transatlantic partners.