Publications Briefings de l'Ifri
Flag of Sweden is installed in NATO conference room, March 11, 2024

Tailoring Deterrence for the High North: Nuclear Consequences of Sweden’s Accession to NATO Ifri Memos, Ifri, March 26, 2024

The Finnish and Swedish accessions to NATO enable the Alliance to play a more active role in the Baltic region.


The underpinnings for a comprehensive NATO general deterrence posture in the High North with Sweden and Finland are, to a large degree, already in place.

Russian behavior is increasingly relying on its nuclear weapons to further its security political aims in order to establish a new security order in Europe: from its leadership’s rhetoric to its self-suspension from Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) and possible basing of nuclear weapons in Belarus.

For an integrated and tailored deterrence in the High North, Sweden and Finland must come to terms with the challenge of immediate deterrence with a nuclear dimension.

A strategy including participation in the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG), flying conventional support for nuclear operations (CSNO) and, for Sweden, enabling dispersed basing, would create the space needed for NATO to act in times of crisis. A more engaged approach would also add dual capable aircraft (DCA) and nuclear sharing arrangements (NSA) for Sweden and possibly for Finland, given that the latter makes the required adjustments to its current legislation.

Tailoring deterrence for the High North: Nuclear Consequences of Sweden’s Accession to NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Nuclear Deterrence Arctic Finland Russia Sweden