Sweden and the United States have begun the process of negotiating an agreement that will deepen defense cooperation between our two countries. The negotiations relate to the so-called Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA), which will form a framework for continued defense cooperation by regulating the legal conditions for the presence of US forces in Sweden. The United States has similar agreements with several other partner countries. The DCA opens closer cooperation with the United States, both bilaterally and within the framework of NATO.
The security situation in Europe has changed drastically with Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. The new, deteriorating security situation means that Sweden needs to be able to act quickly on a complex security development – both individually and with others.
The United States is the most important partner in Sweden’s security and defense policy, both bilaterally and within NATO. In May 2016, Sweden and the United States signed a joint declaration of intent on deepening bilateral defense cooperation. In 2018 Sweden entered into a Tripartite Declaration of Intent with Finland and the USA. By creating conditions for an American presence in Sweden, including in the form of exercises, our security is strengthened.
The DCA negotiations are a natural development of the long-standing cooperation between Sweden and the USA in the field of security and defence. The DCA enables more ongoing cooperation by regulating conditions for US forces to operate in another country. These questions include, among others, questions about the legal status of US military personnel, access to base areas, pre-positioning of materiel, and taxes and fees. The agreement also creates the conditions for US military support if the security situation requires it, and is therefore an agreement of great importance for Sweden’s security. The fact that the United States of America and Sweden have begun negotiations on the DCA is a clear indication of the continued American commitment to security in Europe and in our immediate region. The United States of America has also entered into a DCA with Norway and negotiations are ongoing with both Denmark and Finland regarding the DCA.
The Convention, and the constitutional changes deemed to be the cause of it, must be processed and approved by the Swedish Parliament. The agreement will enter into force when Sweden implements the required constitutional changes. Once the agreement is concluded, it enables our countries to deepen our bilateral security and defense cooperation, strengthen cooperation as NATO allies, as well as contribute to strengthening security and stability across the Atlantic.
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