Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its actions in Ukraine, the war and refugees crisis in Syria, the situation in Turkey after the unsuccessful coup and Brexit were all raised during the debate based on reports by the foreign and defence ministers.
Presenting the report by the foreign ministers, Timo Soini (FI) noted the role played by Russia in the increasingly tense defence and security situation in the Baltic Sea and said that internal events in Russia also, unfortunately, point in an undemocratic direction.
“Isolating Russia is not the answer, though. We need to maintain dialogue on important global questions. This is one of the reasons why we are pleased that the Council of Ministers' co-operation programme in North-West Russia is set to continue,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Nordic Council of Ministers decided to continue its co-operation programme with North-West Russia, despite a Russian decision to classify its offices in the country as ‘foreign agents’.We may not have stood as a Nordic candidate, but it was a Nordic victory, and Sweden now looks forward to supporting Norway in its bid for a place on the UN Security Council.
Peter Christensen (DK), who presented the defence report, also addressed Russian actions and noted that the trend is clear.
“Russia is a challenge – including in our part of the world. Only together can we face these threats and challenges,” he said.
Positive to have Sweden on the UN Security Council
During the debate, the foreign ministers and assembled parliamentarians expressed widespread satisfaction with Sweden's place on the UN Security Council. Margot Wallström (SWE) promised that Sweden will work for the benefit of women, peace and security. She also stressed the Nordic dimension and remembered to thank the other Nordic countries for supporting the Sweden when her country stood for the place on the Security Council.
“We may not have stood as a Nordic candidate, but it was a Nordic victory, and Sweden now looks forward to supporting Norway in its bid for a place on the UN Security Council,” she said.