After Sweden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also pledged military aid to Finland in the event of an attack. During a visit to Helsinki on Wednesday evening, Johnson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö signed a political declaration in which their two countries pledged mutual support and expanded existing military cooperation.
Before the impression of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the prime minister had previously signed such a declaration in Sweden with the head of government there, Magdalena Andersson.
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Britain will also provide Finland with military support in the event of a disaster or attack, Johnson assured at a press conference in the Finnish presidential palace. This is not about the short-term period in which Finland is considering NATO membership, but about a permanent commitment between two nations.
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“I’ve learned that friendships are always measured by how they show themselves in bad weather,” said Niinistö, using a famous quote from Winston Churchill. This describes the current situation in Europe very well. Finland and Great Britain are “good friends and strong security partners”.
President Niinistö: NATO entry is “against nobody”
According to President Sauli Niinistö, Finland’s possible NATO membership would not be directed “against anyone”. “If Finland increases its security, it is not 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 survey published on Monday, 76 percent of Finns are now in favor of NATO membership.
In neighboring Sweden, too, the decision to join NATO is imminent. Russia had warned Finland of “consequences” should Helsinki apply to join the western military alliance. (dpa, AFP)