Chair of the NATO Military Committee highlights strategic importance of the Arctic
On 14 and 15 October 2022, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Bauer was in Iceland, where he attended the Arctic Circle Assembly and met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, the Chief of Defence, Mr Jonas Allansson and former President of Iceland Mr Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.
Admiral Bauer speaks at the Arctic Circle Assembly
Admiral Bauer started his visit by meeting the new Chief of Defence, Mr Jonas Allansson and congratulated him on his recent appointment. “You join us at a challenging time for our security. The rules-based order has been uprooted and NATO is responding by implementing measures to strengthen our collective defence. We will surely benefit from your experience at the United Nations and as an Arctic specialist”, highlighted the Chair. They were joined by Mr Njall Trausti Fridbertsson, the head of the Icelandic Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and Mr Garðar Forberg, NATO Military Representative for Iceland.
Meeting with Ms Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, the Icelandic Minister of Foreign Affairs, and former President of Iceland Mr Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Admiral Bauer reiterated the key role Iceland plays in the region, as a NATO Ally but also as a member of the Arctic Council. He also highlighted that when Finland and Sweden join our Alliance, seven of the eight members of the Arctic Council will be NATO Allies. “With this level of integration, we will be able to better determine NATO’s role in the High North as well as benefit from more assets in the region”.
Admiral Bauer then joined the Arctic Circle Assembly to share his view on the current security environment and its impact on the Arctic. “At this pivotal moment for global security, NATO will do what it has done best for the last 73 years: unite and adapt. With strength and unity, we will continue to deter aggression, protect our values and interests, and keep our people safe. The Arctic has always had a strategic relevance for NATO as the obvious gateway to the North Atlantic, hosting vital trade and communications links between North America and Europe. As such NATO will do everything it can to make sure the Arctic remains free and open”, he emphasised.