For the Scandinavian countries, the defense and mutual protection pact sends a signal to Moscow before a candidacy for NATO membership. For its part, London thus recalls its role in European defense.
While Sweden and Finland should formalize their request for NATO membership in the coming days, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Harpsund – the Prime Minister’s summer residence Swedish, west of Stockholm – and Helsinki, Wednesday, May 11, to sign a defense and mutual protection agreement with the two Nordic countries. An initiative seen as insurance by Sweden and Finland, worried about the reactions of Russia, and which allows Boris Johnson to recall that his country has a major role to play in European defense.
“If one or the other of the countries is struck by a disaster or victim of an attack, we will be there and we will help each other, including with military assistance,” said the British Prime Minister in Helsinki . A little earlier in Stockholm, he had specified that the agreement would allow “to share information, to carry out even more joint military exercises and to deepen our common developments in technology”.
Boris Johnson has excluded either the sending of British troops, or even the assistance of nuclear deterrence. “We are used to not commenting on this subject [nuclear deterrence], but it is up to each of the two partners to make their request [help] and we take [this commitment to help] very seriously” , he stressed during the press conference with the Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. London also proposed to deploy staff from the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the British Army in the north of Europe.