Expert: This is how Denmark and Norway’s exemption from nuclear weapons works

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What about Denmark and Norway?

– Denmark and Norway did not rule out the deployment of nuclear weapons within the countries’ borders when they joined NATO. It only happened several years later, when the question of the possible deployment of short-range robots was raised. Then they mutually distanced themselves from the idea of ​​storing nuclear weapons on their respective territories under prevailing conditions, says Hans Kristensen, who leads PHASE research project on nuclear weapons.

He continues:

– It was a stated policy, rather than a legal decision. Since then, this policy has been defined in more specific terms, and has come to include port visits and overflights. Denmark and Norway have historically sought to coordinate their policy regarding nuclear weapons.

What happens now?

– As for Finland and Sweden, I think they wish to join the alliance on the same premises as Denmark and Norway, which kept open to different options, and then gradually fine-tune their policy in the coming years. There will be an open debate, both within the Nordics and internationally, so they must clarify their stance regarding visits, overflights and deployments.

– But it would be strange if they did not follow the model that Denmark and Norway have created. Regarding the strong position on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament that Finland and Sweden have had both nationally, at the Nordic level and internationally, it would be very strange if they were to completely change direction and abandon the reservations they have had regarding nuclear weapons in the region. It is not in the interests of Finland or Sweden – or the other Nordic or Baltic countries – that the amount of nuclear weapons increases in the region.

– With the development that has taken place in Russia, the deployment of nuclear weapons in the Nordics would not contribute to solving the problem, but rather increase the risk of nuclear weapon use, he says.

Are there plans to place nuclear weapons in Sweden and Finland?

– Given that neither the US, Great Britain nor France have asked Finland and Sweden for permission to place them there, the governments of these countries have probably concluded that there is no need for any specific policy in that regard right now. And one can actually argue that the exercise with B-52s over Sweden shows that there is already an acceptance for nuclear-capable – but not nuclear-armed – American units over Swedish territory.