Boris Johnson signs historic deal with Finland that will see countries 'always come to one another's aid'
This comes as Sweden and Finland consider joining NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine
The UK deal signed with Finland will see each other “always come to one another’s aid”, the Prime Minister has said.
Speaking at a press conference in Helsinki alongside Finnish president Sauli Niinisto, Boris Johnson said: “The security declaration, the solemn declaration we have signed today, ensures that our two nations can intensify our partnership and take it to unparalleled heights, both latitudinal and metaphorical.
“From the high north, to the Baltics and beyond, our armed forces will train, operate and exercise together, marrying our defence and security capabilities and formalising a pledge that we will always come to one another’s aid.
“Because this is not a short-term stop gap, Sauli.
“This is not a short-term stop gap as you consider NATO membership, but an enduring assurance between two nations, an assurance that brings us ever closer as we face the challenges of today, the threats of tomorrow, side by side.”
Mr Johnson said the UK would come to Finland’s assistance, including with military support, in the event of an attack on the country.
Asked during a press conference alongside Finnish president Sauli Niinisto if there would be “British boots on the ground” on Finnish territory during a “possible conflict with Russia”, he said: “I think the solemn declaration is itself clear.
“And what it says is that in the event of a disaster, or in the event of an attack on either of us, then yes, we will come to each other’s assistance, including with military assistance.
“But the nature of that assistance will of course depend upon the request of the other party.
“But it’s also intended to be the foundation of an intensification of our security and our defence relationship in other ways as well.”