UK strikes security agreement with Sweden and Finland as NATO bids loom

"What we are saying, emphatically, is that in the event of a disaster or the event of an attack upon Sweden, then the UK would come to the assistance of Sweden with whatever Sweden requested," Johnson said after meeting Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced a rethink of how Sweden and neighbour Finland safeguard national security.


Reuters | London | Updated: 11-05-2022 18:58 IST | Created: 11-05-2022 18:01 IST
UK strikes security agreement with Sweden and Finland as NATO bids loom
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Image Credit: ANI
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said he had agreed on new deals with Sweden and Finland to bolster European security, pledging to support both countries' armed forces should they come under attack.

Johnson is due to sign the new declarations, described by Britain as "a step-change in defense and security cooperation", during visits to both Sweden and Finland on Wednesday. "What we are saying, emphatically, is that in the event of a disaster or the event of an attack upon Sweden, then the UK would come to the assistance of Sweden with whatever Sweden requested," Johnson said after meeting Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced a rethink of how Sweden and neighbor 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.

"In times of crisis, cooperation becomes even more important," Andersson told reporters at a briefing with Johnson at the Swedish government's country retreat south of Stockholm. "If either country should suffer a disaster or an attack, the United Kingdom and Sweden will assist each other in a variety of ways. The support will be given on request by the affected country and may include military resources."

Sweden and Finland have also received assurances of support from the United States and Germany. The British statement said the new arrangements would intensify intelligence sharing and accelerate joint military training, exercises, and deployments.

Sweden and Finland already have close ties with Britain and are part of the Joint Expeditionary Force, a multinational military group focused on security in the High North, North Atlantic, and Baltic Sea regions. But the war in Ukraine has increased fears in Stockholm and Helsinki that bilateral agreements are no substitute for Article 5 of NATO's charter, which guarantees that an attack on one member state would be considered an attack on all.

Sweden is coordinating with Finland over possible NATO membership and both countries are expected to announce their intentions in the coming days.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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