Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “opened a new chapter” in post-Cold War history, Boris Johnson said as he struck defense pacts with Sweden and Finland.
The Prime Minister traveled to Stockholm and Helsinki to sign the agreements, which state that the UK will come to the aid of Sweden and Finland if they are attacked, and vice versa if the UK is attacked. offensive.
Speaking in Helsinki, Mr Johnson said aid to Ukraine and pledged support to Sweden and Finland were essential in countering Russian President Vladimir Putin otherwise “it wouldn’t be the end of its revanchist neo-imperialist ambitions”.
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Urged to back Ukraine as Britons are squeezed by the cost of living crisis, the Prime Minister promised ‘of course there will be more support in the months ahead’.
But Mr Johnson added: ‘It would be a huge, huge mistake to think that the economic response is to let Putin off the hook with his barbaric behavior in Ukraine.’
The Prime Minister made the remarks during a press conference alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
It comes as Sweden and Finland plan to join NATO amid ongoing Russian military aggression in Ukraine.
It could be seen as a provocation by the Kremlin, but Mr Niinisto firmly blamed the Russians for becoming more aggressive in their insistence on countries’ neutrality – and for showing they were “ready to attack a neighboring country”.
“My answer would be that you caused this – look at the mirror.”
Mr Johnson said it was a “pivotal moment” in the shared history of the UK and Finland.
He added: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine changed the European security equation and rewrote our reality and reshaped our future.
“We have seen the end of the post-Cold War period and the invasion of Ukraine has unfortunately opened a new chapter.
“Finland has traditionally been neutral but this [agreement] formalizes and makes clear something that needs to be made explicit in today’s context.
“That is to say, in the event of an attack on one of us, we will support each other.”
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