British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed bilateral security deals with Finland and Sweden, promising that the United Kingdom will defend both nations if invaded.
The agreement is reciprocal but the primary aim is of course to guarantee the security of Sweden and Finland during the process of applying for NATO membership.
Russia’s foreign ministry has issued veiled threats of “consequences” against Stockholm and Helsinki if they join NATO, arguably making the case for NATO membership for the nations.
🚨 NEWS | Britain, Finland and Sweden have formed a security pact. In the event of a disaster, or in the event of an attack on either of the nations, "we will come to each other's assistance including with military assistance" said British PM Boris Johnson. pic.twitter.com/5gzs7kHDUG
— George Allison (@geoallison) May 11, 2022
“It’s worth emphasizing that if Sweden were attacked and looked to us for help and support, then we would provide it, but it’s up to Sweden to make the request and to spell out exactly what support is requested,” Johnson told reporters during a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart.
“We are steadfast and unequivocal in our support to both Sweden and Finland and the signing of these security declarations is a symbol of the everlasting assurance between our nations. 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”, Johnson added.
The declarations, say the UK Government, will allow the UK to cooperate with key Nordic partners and their armed forces, in all domains, including cyberspace.
“They will also allow for closer collaboration on new technology and intelligence gathering. As part of increased defence cooperation with Sweden and Finland, the Prime Minister will offer to increase deployments to the region, including with Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy assets and personnel.
Both Sweden and Finland have played a key role in supporting Ukraine to defend itself in recent weeks and months, while British, Swedish and Finnish forces have exercised together across the High North and the Baltics.”
Both nations are already 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.