Defense ministers of the JEF, the Great Britain-led Defense Cooperation Joint Expeditionary Force, decided today to begin patrolling the Baltic Sea with about 20 warships from Friday.
– It’s about conducting maritime surveillance, says Paul Johnson, about 20 naval vessels will operate in the Baltic Sea but also in parts of the North Atlantic to take into account the security situation and better protect critical underwater infrastructure.
JEF has not taken any similar action before.
– Sweden has announced that we will field two Wispy corvettes with special responsibility for parts of the Baltic Sea.
“Indicative of a very serious security situation”
The decision is a result of the Defense Summit held in Gotland within the framework of the JEF in October. The participating heads of government then decided to appoint their respective defense ministers to prepare a plan to protect critical underwater infrastructure.
– This is a sign that the world has a very serious security policy situation, and it sends signals to Russia and deters and stabilizes it. We see that the decision has been taken in close dialogue with NATO countries in the region.
The protection of critical underwater infrastructure from sabotage against the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in September 2022 is highly topical. But the suspected sabotage against the Baltic Connector gas pipeline and two data cables, one of them Swedish. October 2023 Examples of vulnerability of underwater infrastructure.