On 17 November, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) organized the discussion "The Dynamics of Defence Cooperation: Possibilities and Limits in a Changing Europe", which brought international expert perspectives on the possibilities and limits of Swedish defence cooperation.
International expert panel discussed Sweden's security and defence cooperation

During the event, Swedish experts presented the results of the study on Sweden’s international security and defence cooperation. Among other participants, Ambassador Kęstutis Jankauskas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to NATO, attended the event (currently the Embassy of Lithuania is NATO Contact Point Embassy 2013-2014).

Ambassador Tomas Bertelman, supervisor of the recently published study on Swedish international security and defence cooperation, presented the results of the publication. The study was commissioned by the previous Swedish Government and sought to identify Sweden's priorities in military cooperation. Moreover, the study discussed the negative and positive aspects of Sweden not being a NATO member.

Former Swedish Ambassador to Russia Bertelman presented Sweden’s priorities on security and defence cooperation with Nordic and Baltic States, NATO and the EU. As part of the published study results the recommendation to conduct a wide research on Sweden’s accession possibilities to NATO was given. In addition, according to the study, apart from close Sweden’s and NATO cooperation, Sweden still does not have all the security guaranties which could truly ensure NATO membership.

The main topics of the international expert panel discussion were – cooperation possibilities, limits and perspectives on defence and security issues between Nordic, EU and NATO member states.

Ambassador Jankauskas emphasized that during last two years increased Swedish interest in NATO, growing and widening pattern for cooperation, as well as growing domestic debate about its security options, including NATO, was noticed. Taking this context into consideration, Ambassador Jankauskas welcomed the study on Swedish international security and defence cooperation: „The study will help to understand Sweden’s, one of NATO’s most active and effective partners, priorities in further cooperation prospects with NATO”, Ambassador Jankauskas stressed. Moreover, the study will foster the general debates on Swedish NATO membership prospects. Even though, Sweden’s decision to enter or not NATO Alliance is their own political decision, looking from the perspective of the Baltic States, Sweden’s and Finland’s accession to NATO would increase Baltic security and would provide the opportunities to plan region’s defence jointly.

International expert panel discussed Sweden's security and defence cooperation
International expert panel discussed Sweden's security and defence cooperation

In addition, according to Jankauskas, it is extremely important to understand that NATO is changing. As a result of NATO Summit in Cardiff and increased Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine NATO is actively implementing the Readiness Action Plan. Not least important, according to Jankauskas, is the fact that NATO suggested to the most active NATO partners, Sweden and Finland, to increase their cooperation with Alliance. As a result Lithuania together with the other NATO member states and partners is ready to implement the decisions adopted in NATO Summit.

During the event the insights on European security policy agenda presented British foreign and security policy expert Alyson Bailes, Adjunct Professor at the University of Iceland, former Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and British Ambassador to Finland and Eugeniusz Smolar, foreign and security policy analyst, Warsaw, former President of the Center for International Relations (CIS). The seminar was moderated by Anna Wieslander, deputy Director at UI.

Recently the Embassy of Lithuania has organized a sequence of lectures and meetings with the representatives of the Swedish academic and non-governmental organizations to discuss NATO and Baltic region security issues. On 7 October, 2014 the Embassy of Lithuania organized the meeting of the representatives from NATO member states embassies with Ambassador Tomas Bertelman, who presented the results of recently published study on Swedish international security and defence cooperation.

In capacity of NATO Contact Point Embassy 2013-2014, the Embassy of Lithuania in Sweden is responsible for providing and spreading the information about the Alliance, organizing the events and giving the support for the Alliance country-partner Sweden for accomplishing the variety of NATO programs and projects. From January, 2015 the functions of NATO Contact Point Embassy will be given to Poland.

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