Boris visits Sweden and Finland to sign historic security pacts

Boris Johnson arrived in Stockholm before traveling to Harpsund, the country residence of his Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson, where he made the British pledge to come to the aid of the country in the event of a crisis

Boris Johnson arrived in Stockholm before traveling to Harpsund, the country residence of his Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson, where he made the British pledge to come to the aid of the country in the event of a crisis

Boris warns that Sweden and Finland should be free to join NATO without ‘fear of retaliation’ as he sends grim message to Putin while visiting countries to sign landmark security pacts

  • Boris Johnson visits Sweden and Finland to sign historic security pacts
  • Both countries consider applying for NATO military alliance membership
  • The Kremlin has warned it is closely monitoring any reconfiguration of NATO

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Boris Johnson warned that Sweden and Finland should be free to join NATO without “fear of retaliation” when he visited the countries to sign landmark security declarations today.

The prime minister sent a grim message to Vladimir Putin when he wrote promises to “strengthen military ties” and support both countries if attacked.

Speaking with Swedish colleague Magdalena Andersson at her residence in Harpsund, Johnson said it is a matter for the people of the country to join the military alliance.

But he insisted, “Sovereign nations should be free to make those decisions without fear or influence or fear of retaliation.”

Mr Johnson put out a UK pledge to come to the aid of the country in the event of a crisis, saying that if help is asked for, ‘we will provide it’.

Ms Andersson said Sweden was safer as a result of the deal.

The prime minister will later visit Finland, where he is expected to formalize a similar agreement with the country’s president, Sauli Niinisto, over a 24-hour whirlwind.

An offer will also be made to increase deployment in the region, including personnel and resources from the Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy.

Boris Johnson arrived in Stockholm before traveling to Harpsund, the country residence of his Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson, where he made the British pledge to come to the aid of the country in the event of a crisis

Boris Johnson arrived in Stockholm before traveling to Harpsund, the country residence of his Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson, where he made the British pledge to come to the aid of the country in the event of a crisis

Boris Johnson arrived in Stockholm before traveling to Harpsund, the country residence of his Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson, where he made the British pledge to come to the aid of the country in the event of a crisis

1652270818 952 Boris visits Sweden and Finland to sign historic security pacts 3

1652270818 952 Boris visits Sweden and Finland to sign historic security pacts 4

Prime Minister (pictured in Sweden) makes promises to 'strengthen military ties' and support both countries if attacked

Prime Minister (pictured in Sweden) makes promises to 'strengthen military ties' and support both countries if attacked

Prime Minister (pictured in Sweden) makes promises to ‘strengthen military ties’ and support both countries if attacked

Both countries consider prospect of NATO membership in light of Putin's continued military aggression

Both countries consider prospect of NATO membership in light of Putin's continued military aggression

Both countries consider prospect of NATO membership in light of Putin’s continued military aggression

It comes as both countries consider the prospect of NATO membership in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continued military aggression.

But the Kremlin has warned it is “watching very closely what could affect NATO’s configuration near our borders.”

Mr Johnson said: ‘We are steadfast and unequivocal in our support for both Sweden and Finland and the signing of these security declarations is a symbol of the eternal security between our nations.

“This is not a short-term stopgap solution, but a long-term commitment to strengthening military ties and global stability and strengthening Europe’s defenses for future generations.”

The statements build on claims made earlier in the month that the UK would always help Finland if attacked by Russia, regardless of whether the country was a member of NATO.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said it was “inconceivable” that Britain would not help Finland or Sweden when it was in crisis, even “without a formal agreement”.

Mr Johnson held talks with Ms Andersson and Mr Niinisto in March as part of a meeting of Joint Expeditionary Force countries, including Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway.

After the meeting, Downing Street said the two leaders agreed that “Putin’s invasion had drastically changed the landscape of European security.”

Finland shares a long land border with Russia and is only about 250 miles from Saint Petersburg.

Source: New feed