Putin Is Driving the Nordic Countries Into Washington’s Arms

Putin Is Driving the Nordic Countries Into Washington’s Arms
U.S. President Joe Biden poses for a group photo with the leaders Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 13, 2023 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

In the final weeks of 2023, a remarkable process was completed when three Nordic countries each signed a defense cooperation agreement, or DCA, with the United States.* The accords further strengthened military ties between Washington and a region of the world where many had long favored nonalignment and neutrality.

Before Denmark, Sweden and Finland inked the deals last month, Norway had not only signed its own DCA in 2021, but the following year supplemented the original agreement to strengthen it even further.

The wave of military agreements comes on top of the expansion of the Atlantic alliance, with Finland joining NATO in April and Sweden awaiting approval from recalcitrant members Turkey and Hungary. In a New Year’s interview, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed confidence that Sweden’s accession will be sealed at the NATO summit in Washington this July.

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