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Nordic Cooperation: Joint Infrastructure Strategy To Support Military Mobility

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They are now planning a joint strategy for infrastructure.

“During the meeting, we discussed important ports and roads and went through the national transport plans,” says Jon-Ivar Nygård to High North News.

Specific measures

What will the strategy include?

“We must look at how everything connects, and at a continuous transport chain with a particular focus on east-west connections.”

How quickly can a strategy be in place?

“I cannot say. They are still working on a national transport plan in Sweden and Finland. Sweden is getting close, but Finland is a little behind,” says the Norwegian Minister of Transport.

Lulu Ranne (Finns Party) is the Minister of Transport in Finland. (Photo: Fanni Uusitalo/Prime Minister’s Office)

“The strategy is not ready yet, but we can still start working. We are already working on specific measures.”

The Swedish government plans to present an infrastructure proposition for the Swedish parliament, which will apply from 2026-2037.

Norway’s transport plan was presented on March 22nd by the Støre cabinet. It will apply from 2025 to 2036.

New role

How does Norway readjust from being “NATO in the North” to a transit country?

“The focus has been on north-south. We will not be a transit country, which means that the capacity into the Nordic region must be strengthened. That applies to both road and railway, and the Ofoten Line will be upgraded with three passing sidings and the axle load will be increased to 32 tonnes,” says Nygård.

Finland is behind on both the new transport plan and a sufficient capacity on the railway. The Ofoten Line, which is part of the Iron Ore Line between Narvik and Luleå with an extension into Finland, is of Europen standard, while the Finnish railway has a narrower, Russian track gauge.

“The Finnish government has asked for a restructuring to the European standard. It will be costly and time-consuming, but as the Finnish minister of transport said, they have to start somewhere.”

Costly

Finnish Lulu Ranne says to the newspaper Fremover, that the Finnish government has started the assessment on how the railway will be expanded and adapted to the European standard.

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