Denmark, Iceland, and Norway have joined a growing number of countries offering defense pledges to Sweden and Finland, which have both formally embarked on membership bids in the NATO military alliance.
Citing Helsinki and Stockholm’s “right to choose their own security arrangements” as sovereign nations, the three European states declared on Monday that they would defend Sweden and Finland in the event either come under attack as they move through the NATO application process.
“Finland and Sweden’s security is a matter of common concern to us all. Should Finland or Sweden be victims of aggression on their territory before obtaining NATO membership, we will assist Finland and Sweden by all means necessary,” they said in a joint statement, adding that they would “immediately initiate preparations in order to effectuate these security assurances.”
The new defense guarantees came on the day that Sweden officially announced that it would request NATO membership, a day after neighboring Finland did the same. Leaders in both countries have raised concerns in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in late February, arguing it has fundamentally changed the security environment in the region.