Following Sweden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also promised military assistance in the event of an attack in Finland. During a visit to Helsinki on Wednesday evening, Johnson and Finnish President Sauli Ninisto signed a political declaration in which their two countries pledged mutual support and expanded existing military cooperation.
Before the idea of a Russian invasion of Ukraine appeared, the Prime Minister signed such a declaration with the head of government in Sweden, Magdalena Anderson.
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Johnson told a news conference at the Finnish presidential palace that Britain would provide military support to Finland in the event of a disaster or attack. This is not about Finland considering short-term NATO membership, but about permanent commitment between the two countries.
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Using Winston Churchill’s famous quote, Ninisto said, “I know that friendships are always measured by how they present themselves in bad weather.” It describes well the current situation in Europe. Finland and Great Britain are “good friends and strong security partners”.
President Ninisto: NATO entry “against anyone”
According to President Sauli Ninisto, Finland’s potential NATO member will not run “against anyone.” “If Finland increases its security, it will not be at the expense of others,” Niinistö said in Helsinki on Wednesday.
Finland has been militarily neutral for decades. However, public opinion has changed significantly since neighboring Russia invaded Ukraine.
According to a poll released Monday, 76 percent of Finns are now in favor of NATO members.
In neighboring Sweden, too, the decision to join NATO is imminent. Russia has warned that Finland could suffer “consequences” if Helsinki applied to join the Western military alliance. (dpa, AFP)
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