Britain has concluded an agreement with Finland that implies military support in the event of an attack on the country, the same pact was previously concluded with Sweden. Stockholm and Helsinki look forward to joining NATO in the near future “Britain and Finland agreed on military assistance in the event of an attack” />
Boris Johnson (left) with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö
Great Britain and Finland agreed on mutual assistance, including military assistance, if one of the countries is attacked. Military support can be provided at the request of one of the parties, the joint declaration says. The agreements were announced during British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit to Helsinki. The press service of the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, broadcast live the press conference following the talks.
A similar agreement on mutual assistance was concluded earlier by Great Britain and Sweden, according to the website of the British Cabinet.
“We reaffirmed that if one of the countries suffers from a natural disaster or attack, the United Kingdom and Finland, at the request of the affected country, will assist each other in various ways, which may include military means. This cooperation will remain in full accordance with the security and defense policy of each country and is intended to complement, and not replace, existing European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation,— reads the text of the declaration (quote from Reuters).
A few more points of the declaration relate to the strengthening of military cooperation in peacetime— the parties agreed to expand military coordination and security measures in the Baltic region.
The countries in the document also call on Russia to immediately stop hostilities in Ukraine and declare their readiness to assist Kyiv in restoring the country.
Finland and Sweden plan to simultaneously apply for NATO membership in the coming months. Previously, these countries remained neutral: Finland— since the end of World War II, and Sweden— from the 19th century. The level of support for the decision to join NATO in both countries rose sharply in late February, after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.
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The President of Finland, at a press conference with Johnson, stressed that the state's entry into NATO is not aimed against any country. “For us, joining NATO would not be [directed] against anyone, we would like to strengthen our defense as much as possible in one way or another,” — he said.
According to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin are due to speak out on the country's NATO membership on 12 May. They are expected to make a decision on the application on May 15. In Sweden, an official decision on the issue of NATO membership is also to be announced on May 15.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the entry of previously neutral Finland and Sweden into the alliance would lead to undesirable consequences and a radical change in the military-political situation, as well as the consequences in relations with these countries.
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