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Norway’s defense minister on how NATO expansion will, and won’t, impact defense plans

“I think we heard some discussion that, ‘Norway can do navy and Finland does army’ — that's way too simple. It's more complicated than that,” said Norwegian defense minister Bjørn Arild Gram.

By AARON MEHTA on September 30, 2022 at 2:15 PM

WASHINGTON — With Sweden and Finland nearing NATO membership, the question of how they will reshape the military alliance — and the military planning of the other Nordic nations — has been front and center especially in the mind of Bjørn Arild Gram, Norway’s defense minister.

Talking to a small group of reporters last week while visiting Washington, Gram made it clear that while he knows things will change, exactly how it all ends up will take some time to work out.

“The corporation has increased, and we will see that we have to look at our defense planning now. We can see where the geography as a whole, infrastructure, lines of communication [will change] for instance. And of course we have our attention in the high north,” Gram said. “Sweden, Finland to a certain degree also have [that], but they also look more at the Baltic Sea region and this will be more connected.

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