United Kingdom Defense Minister Ben Wallace on Wednesday extended his support to Finland and Sweden in the event of a Russian attack as part of a possible process to integrate the two Nordic countries into NATO.
“Even without a formal agreement, it is unthinkable that the UK would not support the occasional attack on Finland and Sweden,” Wallace told a joint news conference with his Finnish envoy, Andy Gaikonen, from Nineslow. .
The two ministers observed military exercises of the Finnish Armed Forces in this western city, where troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Latvia also participated.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Wallace reaffirmed Britain’s support for a possible NATO membership of Finland and Sweden, despite warnings from Moscow.
“Whatever happens in the face of Finland’s aspirations to join NATO, it is up to Finland to decide independently, and we are here to support their freedom of decision, not to allow another country to tell them how to make that decision.” , he said.
At the same time, he stressed that he could not imagine a lack of support from the United Kingdom to Finland and Sweden, beyond the context in which their merger process with NATO would find itself.
However, Wallace did not mention any kind of assistance and restrained himself, saying “England will do whatever it takes to support Finland.”
When asked if the annexation of Finland and Sweden to NATO would provide additional security or increase tensions with Russia, Wallace promised that “alliances mean security, and that is what history shows.”
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat NATO.
“The time has come for many parts of Europe to realize that Putin is not a friend. He is an occupier who in recent decades has spent much time and money undermining our democratic policies through radical political parties or military threats,” he continued.
The two ministers were witnessing military maneuvers in Ninislow, and according to the Finnish Defense Ministry, a Russian military helicopter crossed the country’s airspace near the common border, the second such incident in less than a month.
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