Photo from UNIAN

Chiefs of defense from 11 northern European countries gathered on Friday to discuss a variety of topics at the 2018 Northern European Chief of Defense Conference.

The main focus of the conference was deterring Russian aggression, U.S. European Command officials said, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the Eucom commander, was the senior U.S. military official who attended the conference, which was hosted by Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, the Norwegian chief of defense.

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The two leaders opened the conference by highlighting their mutual appreciation for one another's collaboration and the benefits of partnering to address the regional challenges faced today.

"The United States and Norway have a long history of cooperation, and we value your partnership," Scaparrotti said. "We're pleased to be here today and to work so closely with you."

The objective of the conference was to facilitate an open and candid dialogue to enhance cooperation among the northern European countries in support of enduring stability and peace during a period of emerging challenges.

Presentations from both U.S. and Norwegian leaders helped to facilitate the discussion among the group. Topics focused on how nations can work more closely together to address disinformation and Russian malign influence, cyber threats and critical infrastructure protection, future military deployments and exercises in the region.

"We must be resolute and adaptable as we work together as a team to maintain our momentum," Scaparrotti said.

Conference participants represented Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United States.