NewsSweden joins JEF in Baltic Sea operation to deter Russian aggression

Sweden joins JEF in Baltic Sea operation to deter Russian aggression

Important NATO decision. 20 ships will be patrolling the Baltic.
Important NATO decision. 20 ships will be patrolling the Baltic.
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ed. ROP

2:37 PM EST, November 29, 2023

The Baltic Sea's critical infrastructure will be patrolled by 20 warships from the Joint Expeditionary Forces (JEF) beginning in December, as announced by Swedish Minister of Defense, Pal Jonson, on Tuesday. He highlighted that this move serves as a signal to Russia.

The defense cooperation, led by the United Kingdom, includes the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as the Netherlands. A video conference involving the defense ministers of these countries was conducted on Tuesday.

In the JEF's first joint operation, Sweden will contribute two Visby-class corvettes to the Baltic Sea task force. "This is a signal for Russia, underscoring our capability to deter and stabilize," said the Swedish Minister of Defense. Jonson stressed that this decision was agreed upon with NATO.

Baltic Sea Security to Intensify

In mid-October, government heads forming the JEF, meeting in Visby on the island of Gotland, expressed their intent to enhance protection of the strategic infrastructure in the Baltic Sea. This encompasses underwater pipelines and communication cables, amongst others.

In September 2022, the Nord Stream gas pipeline suffered damage due to an underwater explosion, an act identified as sabotage. More recent incidents include the destruction of a gas pipeline that connects Estonia and Finland, along with damage to various underwater communication cables this past October.

"The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline last year, along with the recent damage to the Balticconnector pipeline and cables, illustrate the vulnerability of this infrastructure," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in November, before a meeting with the Defense Ministers of the European Union. "The threats are tangible and increasingly serious."

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