Britain will back Sweden and Finland in face of attack – historic defence deal signed

Russia's tank blown apart with Swedish rocket-launcher'

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The Prime Minister pledged to support the countries if they come under attack as he sought to bolster European security in the face of threats from Russia. Moscow has issued a series of warnings to countries on the continent, directly threatening Sweden and Finland with invasion.

Mr Johnson said the signing of the new declarations was “a step-change in defence and security cooperation”.

“These are not a short term stop gap, but a long term commitment to bolster military ties and global stability, and fortify Europe’s defences for generations to come,” he added.

“This is an agreement that enshrines the values that both Sweden and the UK hold dear, and which we will not hesitate to defend.”

He continued: “When Europe celebrated VE Day in 1945 – a victory that was of course in no small part ensured by the heroism of the Russian people – we hoped that peace on our continent endure.

“Well Putin’s bloodthirsty campaign against a sovereign nation has put an end to that hope.

“And we face a new reality. But one that we face together.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced a rethink of how Sweden Finland safeguard national security.

Both are expected to join NATO, but both are worried they would be vulnerable while their applications are processed, which could take up to a year.

The security declaration signed today pledges the UK to help the Nordic countries militarily.

British armed forces are expected to be deployed to the region more often.

It is hoped the show of might will make Putin rethink any plans to expand his barbaric military campaign beyond Ukraine.

Recently British, Swedish and Finnish forces have exercised together across the High North and the Baltics.

Both nations are part of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force taskforce, which brings together 10 countries in support of stability and security in the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea Region and the High North.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Mr Johnson said he would support Sweden if it decided to apply for NATO membership and that the UK would continue to stand by the country.

“I’m sure the UK will support whatever of course of action Sweden decides to embark upon and we’ll be as useful and supportive as we can,” he said.

Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson said her country would be safer as a result of the mutual assistance agreement with the UK.

She said: “Are we safer with this declaration? Yes we are. Of course this means something. This is important whatever policy choice we make in Sweden.”

More to follow…

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