Pressemøde onsdag den 4. maj 2022


Bemærk: Pressemødet blev holdt på engelsk, men nogle spørgsmål og svar er på et af de nordiske sprog, hvilket transskriptionen herunder afspejler.

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen:

Welcome, all of you. Our meetings here in Copenhagen have made it clear, once again, that India and the Nordic countries share a strong bond. Today, the five of us have had a very good conversation with Prime Minister Modi. We talked about how as democratic countries, we need to move even closer together.

We need to engage at a whole new and different level when it comes to green transition, trade, access to technology, Indo-Pacific. We of course, also discussed the terrible war in Ukraine. We have made the Nordic position very clear. Putin's war is brutal, it’s inhuman and breaks with all international rules. The killings must stop now. And we have expressed our hope that India will influence Russia. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also raised a lot of fundamental discussions about how we best ensure our security in the Nordic countries. In Denmark, we have adapted a national compromise to increase defence spending and on June the 1st, we will be asking the Danes to decide if we should fully join European security and defence cooperation. Sweden and Finland already participate fully in EU security and defence policy, and Norway also contributes. I hope that the Danish people will give Denmark the opportunity to contribute and benefit as well.
I know that there are also some very important discussions in Sweden and Finland about, possibly, joining NATO. This is your decision and your decision alone. But be assured that if you should decide to join, you have full support from Denmark. Together we can pave the way for an even stronger Nordic voice on security policy in Europe. And now I would like to pass the floor to you, Jonas.

Norges statsminister Jonas Gahr Støre:

Thank you, Mette. I believe this summit is important. Prime Minister Modi said that there is a combination of scale and skills. India has both, but we too, being 25 million people in the Nordic region, have skills, and we have been looking today into areas of climate change, innovation, digitalisation, and how we can combine forces. India is a large democracy. It has a complex diversity. I think we've had bilateral exchanges on the values that need to underpin managing complexity and diversity. But this dialogue has now some historic roots, and we wish to take that forward.

A short note on the Nordic security dimension.
I agree with prime Minister Frederiksen that we follow the debate in Finland and Sweden. Nobody should push these countries or deny them any right. They make their decisions. They are NATO's closest partners. Were they to join, Norway would, alongside Denmark and, I believe Iceland support such an application. And we will do everything to secure a rapid and smooth process. NATO is a defensive alliance providing security to its member and aggression to no country, an offence to no country, and we should reiterate the values that bind us together. We made it clear to Prime Minister Modi, what a major disaster it is that we have war on the European continent. There may be differences between states, but they have to be settled around negotiation tables. It cannot be accepted that full scale invasion is a 21st century response to differences.
And it's important for us to communicate to the Indian Prime Minister that when he leaves Copenhagen and, having met with the Nordic countries, these questions on these values have to be crystal clear. It's about every country's reputation, actually.
So thank you for hosting us, Mette. It's been a very useful day.

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Thank you, Jonas, and Magdalena?

Sveriges statsminister Magdalena Andersson:

Thank you very much and I would like to start by expressing my appreciation to you Mette, for hosting this meeting. And there's a great potential when we all work together and have this possibility to meet leaders like Prime Minister Modi.

We are all strongly condemning Russia's unprovoked and unjustified aggressions in Ukraine. Just like both my colleagues have already stated, and we see shocking pictures of attacks against civilians, schools, and hospitals. And today was also an opportunity to present the Nordic perspective to Prime Minister Modi.
We also need to continue to support Ukraine, sanctioning Russia and strengthening our own security and when it comes to support to Ukraine, tomorrow, my Polish colleague and I will host a conference on mobilising funds for humanitarian response in Ukraine, and we do this in cooperation with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.
And this will of course be an important possibility for countries to pledge support for Ukraine. We will also discuss the pressing financial needs the Ukrainian state is facing due to the war.

On sanctions, it is important that the EU together with partners isolate the Russian leadership and impose strong sanctions to make Russia take this decision to end the war. And the Commission is working on a sixth package, and it will be considered by all member states urgent with urgency because this is really important to continue this.

Finally, on security. The situation calls for a closer cooperation among us, the Nordic countries, and others. And, in Sweden, we are adapting to the new circumstances. We are building up our national defence and the build-up we have started is now accelerated and we will go up to 2% of GDP. But we're also looking at the new security situation with the other parties in Parliament. So, we are right now conducting a supplementary security policy analysis. My foreign minister and my defence minister, together with all the parties in the Swedish Parliament, and all options are on the table. And the dialogue with our neighbours, such as today, is also important in this process. Thank you.

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Thank you so much. Katrín!

Islands statsminister Katrín Jakobsdóttir: Yes, Thank you, Mette. And thank you for hosting this important summit where we talked about the possibilities and opportunities in strengthening the Nordic-Indian cooperation. Not least when it comes to the climate crisis, where I think actually those countries can collaborate a lot more deeply.

We also talked about multilateralism and the importance of international law, not least in these times of crisis in Europe, where we have been following the illegal military Russian aggression in Ukraine, which Iceland just as our Nordic friends and colleagues has condemned.

We talked about the war in Ukraine also, and as our statement reads, the Nordics and India called for peace and will defend the fundamental principles of international law and the international system and, being the smallest country here, I can tell you that Iceland is highly committed in the act of defending multilateralism, defending international law, which is really the essence of all our different countries being able to live together. So, this was a very important issue today.

Now, I would like to say, and agree with Jonas and Mette. As you all know, Iceland is a member of NATO. We will support Finland and Sweden in the decision they will make. And this is their decision to make. And ensure that if they decide to join, we will do everything we can do to make that happen swiftly.

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Thank you, Katrín. And then, Sanna!

Finlands statsminister Sanna Marin: Thank you, Mette. And I also want to thank you for hosting today's India and Nordic countries summit. I think it's very important that we are discussing right now on the key issues and matters that we share together.
Of course, the situation in Ukraine, the brutal war that Russia has taken on Ukraine is an issue that we have to discuss not only as Nordic, not only as European countries, but also with our international partners, such as India. We need the whole international community condemning the brutal war in Ukraine. We need to make the war stop. And that's why we also need partners in doing so.

I strongly feel that we need more sanctions against Russia. We need to make sure that we don't finance Putin's war. So, we need more sanctions, also on energy. And I appreciate and welcome the commission's latest proposals on sanctions, for example, on oil and other matters. And at the same time, we have to help Ukraine every way we can. As Magdalena said, tomorrow's meeting in Warsaw on the issue is very important as well. And Finland is also preparing to give new aid to Ukraine.

Financial aid, military aid and also, of course, humanitarian aid. And we need to make sure that we are helping Ukraine during the war, but also after, helping them rebuild their country when the war ends.

So, it's important that we discussed these matters and topics also with Prime Minister Modi. And we need to make sure that every country in the world condemns Russia's actions. Together we can make a real difference in the world.

And also, we have to protect the multilateral order, rule-based world international law that every country would respect these issues as well.

As you all know, we're discussing, in Sweden and in Finland, the possibility to apply for NATO membership. I think Finland will make the decisions quite soon. We are talking about weeks, not months. So, we are really in a key moment here, and I appreciate my colleagues for your support, ongoing support, in this process.
And also, we have to discuss together European security. We are now in a totally different security environment because of Russia's actions, and we need to make sure that we are more prepared in the future. We don't want to be naive when it comes to the challenges of the future. And we need to work together even closer when it comes to security, but also different key matters such as energy, which we have discussed, but also issues like food. There will be big problems, because of the high energy prices on food in the future. And we need to make sure that, together, we can also help poor countries in the world with facing this upcoming crisis, because of high energy prices, because of the war in Europe right now.
So, thank you so much, Mette. Thank you, dear colleagues, for your support and good discussions today.

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Thank you!

And now we will open up for questions. You can ask in your own language for your own prime minister. But otherwise, you can ask in English if there are others, you would like to put a question forward to.

We'll start with the Danish press. Danmarks Radio!

DR: Mette Frederiksen, how important is it for you to get Sweden and Finland to join NATO? And also, a question for Finland and Sweden. How important is it to make a joint decision about joining NATO?

Finlands statsminister Sanna Marin: Well, I think it's very important that we are in close contact, I think on a daily basis, as prime ministers, but also, of course, in different levels. So, we are coordinating. We're discussing together frequently, and I think it's very important that we would go to the same direction and also at the same pace. It's also to do with our security, of course.

Sveriges statsminister Magdalena Andersson:

Jag kan svara på svenska. Ja, nej, men vi har ju väldigt, väldigt nära kontakt och dialog, har vi haft under hela den här processen, i Sverige och Finland och vi har et oerhörd nära militärt samarbete da vi ju samarbetar med Norge och Danmark, men särskilt nära tillsammans med Finland. Så också mot den bakgrunden är det ju viktigt att vi har den här nära dialogen. Varje land fattar naturligtvis ett eget beslut.

Men när vi gör det så kan vi jo inte bortse från det at vad det ena landet fattar för beslut får ju det betydelse för det andra landet. Så att vi ska ju fatta det här beslutet med öppna ögon om hur, så at säga, omgivningerne ser ut, och da påverkar vi varandra.

Statsminister Mette Fredriksen: Så svarer jeg på dansk.

De fem lande der står her, vi har et meget, meget tæt samarbejde med hinanden, og der er sikkerhedspolitik selvfølgelig helt afgørende, ikke mindst i den nuværende situation.

Det er vigtigt for mig at understrege, at såfremt Sverige og Finland ønsker at søge medlemskab i NATO, så er det jo en national beslutning. Men som vi har sagt i dag både fra Islands, Norges og Danmarks side, så støtter vi det helhjertet, og vi vil gøre alt, hvad vi overhovedet kan for at den nationale proces, der skal igangsættes hos os efterfølgende, at det går så hurtigt som overhovedet muligt.

I det hele taget er jeg jo af den overbevisning, at i den situation, vi befinder os i med krig på Europa, så handler det om at styrke vores politiske fællesskaber. Det gælder både i NATO og i EU.

DR: Når I så har snakket om at øge det nordiske samarbejde i dag, vil det også betyde, at der vil komme flere fælles militære øvelser osv. blandt de nordiske lande?

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Altså, militærøvelser kører suverænt i et forsvarsspor. Og i det omfang, vores respektive forsvar mener, det er nødvendigt at have et tættere samarbejde, flere øvelser – jamen, så mener jeg, at man skal gøre det.
Vi har et tæt samarbejde i forvejen. Og det er klart omkring Østersøen og også i vores samarbejde med de baltiske lande, der vil der givet komme et endnu tættere samarbejde.

…: Ursula von der Leyen har jo her fra morgenstunden præsenteret den 6. sanktionspakke fra EU, som bl.a. indeholder et totalt forbud mod import af russisk olie, hvordan forholder Danmark sig til det?

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Det støtter vi meget stærkt. Vi har behov for flere sanktioner, og vi har fra starten sagt fra den danske regerings side, at vi støtter så hårde sanktioner som overhovedet muligt. Og det er klart, at dét, der bliver lagt på bordet i dag fra kommissionen, som handler om olie, det er noget, som vil kunne mærkes også markant i Rusland. Så det støtter vi.

…: Hvordan forholder I jer så til, at det jo er en stor pakke, en meget streng pakke, men der er jo også lande, der er undtaget fra det her totale importforbud. Altså, EU er jo en helhed, der opererer normalt som en samlet helhed, hvordan ser I på, at man undtager visse lande for hvem, det ikke er så bekvemt at lave et totalt stop?

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Jamen, jeg har det sådan med sanktionerne, at vi skal lave så hårde sanktioner som overhovedet muligt, men selvfølgelig skal vi også være opmærksomme på, at landene står i forskellige situationer. Vi har nogle EU-lande, der har en total afhængighed i forhold til Rusland, bl.a. på olie. Og så er vi nogle andre lande, der heldigvis står i en bedre og mere privilegeret situation, fordi vi også er længere i forhold til vedvarende energi og omstilling af vores økonomi i det hele taget.
Så altså, man kommer aldrig til at høre fra vores side, at der ikke er opbakning til også noget pragmatisme i det her.
Det afgørende er, at vi fortsætter ad sanktionssporet, og de bliver hårdere med de overgreb, vi ser på den civile befolkning i Ukraine. Det er helt ubærligt dét, vi ser.

Og så går vi over til den norske presse! Jeg ved ikke helt…

Alf Johnsen, VG: I can take the first question, Alf Johnsen, from VG.
I would like to ask you, the Finnish and the Swedish Prime Minister, on the… to the background on the need for a shortest possible time between an application to NATO and an invitation, and the discussions on the security guarantees in this interim. So, I would like if you can reiterate on what kind of measures that could be put in place against Sweden and Finland in that period. So, to reason about the … why it's necessary to have security guarantees and why it's necessary to make this period as short as possible. Thank you.

Finlands statsminister Sanna Marin: Well, thank you for the question. I think the key issue if Finland and Sweden would decide to apply for a NATO membership, the key issue is to keep the process, the ratification process, as short as possible. I think it's in everybody's interest that different countries will move as fast as possible. That would be the best security guarantee that we could have.

But of course, we are also discussing, especially with the bigger NATO member countries, what kind of security guarantees or security issues we could have. So, this is something that we are discussing as we speak. Especially consulting, and discussing with the bigger countries, such as the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany. We actually visited yesterday near Berlin, invited by Bundeskanzler (Chancellor) Scholz, and met, also, the government in Germany and discussed about these matters, what kind of guarantees different countries could give. But the best guarantee would be a very, very short ratification process.

Sveriges statsminister Magdalena Anderson: And I think, also its … I mean Russia, they have been clear, they will respond to an application. And this we are aware of, I agree with Sanna that if we would decide to take this step, a short ratification process would, of course, be a very good way forward.

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: And the Swedish press!

Sorry, we don't have so much time, so we'll go on, now, to the Swedish press!

…: … News Agency. I have a question for you, Mette Frederiksen. Did Modi actually make any promises about the Indian relationship to Russia today – when it comes to Ukraine?

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: I have made it very clear – the Danish and the European and the Nordic position on the war in Ukraine. But I'm not going to tell you about the discussions we had at the meeting.

…: …

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: I think there are a lot of results of this meeting, but I'm not going in details in about the concrete discussion we had. And the Icelandic press! No, Finnish! But we're not finish. But the Finnish press, yes!

…: … This one goes to Norway and Denmark.
If Finland and Sweden decided to seek for the membership in NATO, what kind of security could Denmark and Norway provide to Finland during this membership process?

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: Jonas!

Norges statsminister Jonas Gahr Støre: Well, I think Prime Minister Sanna Marin expressed well that on that issue, particularly Sweden and Finland are in dialogue with the larger NATO countries. I respect that process. There is an inherent Nordic solidarity – that no Nordic country is unaffected by what happens to another Nordic country.

And as I see it, and we have discussed, were there have … to be an application, I think Denmark, Norway and Iceland should seek ratification on the same day and reiterate our Nordic solidarity. Which is a long traditional Nordic response of standing together, which I think will also matter in such a situation.

Statsminister Mette Frederiksen: And I agree with Norway.

And we don't have any more time. Unfortunately, yes, that was the conclusion. We agree. Thank you!