Finnish President Sauli Niinisto will make a state visit to Iceland today.
The topics of discussion will primarily focus on Finland’s pending entry into NATO and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. With the upcoming accession of both Finland and Sweden to NATO, all Nordic states consisting of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland would be part of the organization. While all the states enjoyed friendly relations with each other including membership of the Nordic Council, the non-NATO membership of Sweden and Finland limited the extent of security-based cooperation. The states quo is already shifting as all five countries began drafting plans for a NATO-led defense of the region.
The state visit is likely to lay the foundation for further cooperation within the Nordic-bloc. In bilateral terms, this could result in greater Icelandic involvement in European security in the long-term. Currently, the capabilities of Iceland’s armed forces are severely limited to coastal defense without a standing army. While the country currently lacks the capability to deploy a significant military force, future Finnish-Icelandic cooperation could see Finland providing Iceland with arms, training and logistical support to deploy a significant military force.
Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.