LONDON: The JEF Defence Ministers met in Edinburgh to discuss future cooperation.
Today, Defence Ministers and senior representatives of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) – comprising Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – met here today in Edinburgh.
Eight months after meeting at Belvoir Castle on the eve of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the JEF nations remain steadfast in our support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Since February, JEF members have been at the forefront of providing diplomatic, financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine, nationally and in various international frameworks. The JEF has also made a significant contribution to bolstering the security of Northern Europe through a series of coordinated activities to enhance defensive responses.
Yesterday we witnessed first hand personnel from JEF members instructing Ukrainian troops as part of the international training offer. Together we are providing Ukrainian citizens with the skills, capabilities and personal equipment that they need to defend their homeland.
Today we addressed recent developments in the ongoing invasion and considered how our nations should adapt our contributions to continue providing impactful and enduring support. JEF members have made significant provision of military aid over the last eight months. This support will also now be built upon through the International Fund for Ukraine, which will finance new contracts for the provision of vital equipment for Ukraine’s fight.
The JEF has increased its military activities in Northern Europe in 2022 to provide greater levels of security assurance to our members and the wider region. As we meet, Joint Protector 2022 is concluding in Denmark, through which JEF members have exercised our collective responses to the newly emerging threats and potential crisis scenarios. This year the JEF has also deployed military forces and provided practical assurance measures to Finland and Sweden through their accession to NATO, and we remain steadfast in our support of them becoming full members of the Alliance.
JEF meetings develop both our shared understanding of events and agility to react to them, providing a valuable contribution to regional and wider European security. Today, we reviewed that contribution and agreed to deepen our cooperation on hybrid threats and the protection of Critical National Infrastructure, and mature our vision for the JEF’s long-term development as a key component of Northern European security: supporting our members, delivering region-specific and multi-domain defence activities, and contributing to the security of Europe as one of NATO’s Framework Nation Concept.
The leaders of JEF member nations are scheduled to meet in Riga, Latvia, in December and will progress this work together.