COPENHAGEN – Britain pledged to defend Sweden if the country was attacked, with Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Magdalena Andersson signing a security deal outside Stockholm on Wednesday.
Sweden and Finland are considering joining NATO following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. Johnson is later said to make a similar defense commitment to Finland, where he will meet with President Sauli Niinisto.
The deal will “bolster the defenses of northern Europe in the face of renewed threats,” Johnson said in a statement, adding it was “a symbol of eternal assurance between our nations.”
“This is not a short-term stopgap, but a long-term commitment to strengthen military ties and global stability, and strengthen Europe’s defenses for generations to come,” Johnson said in the statement. Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer land border with Russia.
The Kremlin has warned of “military and political repercussions” should Sweden and Finland decide to join NATO.
Should Sweden and Finland submit an application, there will be a transitional period from the application until ratification by all 30 parliaments of the NATO members. The two Nordic countries are expected to announce their positions on NATO membership in the coming days.
Johnson also offered during his day-long visit to increase the deployment of British troops and military assets to the region.
He met Andersson in Harpsund, the country home of the Swedish prime ministers, about 90 kilometers south-west of Stockholm.
Britain is already present in the Baltic Sea areas with the Joint Expeditionary Force, made up of 10 northern European nations: the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway.
In 2017, Sweden and Finland joined the British-led military rapid reaction force, designed to be more flexible and quicker to respond than the larger NATO alliance. It uses NATO standards and doctrines, allowing it to operate in conjunction with NATO, UN, or other multinational coalitions. The force has been fully operational since 2018 and has conducted a number of exercises both independently and in cooperation with NATO.
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https://www.local10.com/business/2022/05/11/britain-pledges-to-defend-sweden-if-attacked/ Britain pledges to defend Sweden in case of attack