A few days after officially announcing its probable accession to NATO, Sweden has today received British guarantees in writing of military support in case it is attacked by Russia before its integration into the Atlantic Alliance is completed. This is how the “premier” Boris Johnson made it known this morning to his Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, at his summer residence in Harpsund, 100 kilometers west of Stockholm.
According to the text of the so-called “Political Declaration of Solidarity”, each country undertakes to come to the aid of the other in the event of an attack. “If any of the countries suffers a disaster or an attack, the United Kingdom and Sweden, at the request of the affected country, will help each other in various ways, which may include military means,” says the text signed by both leaders.
The agreement, however, respects the sovereignty of Sweden and the United Kingdom to make their own decisions. “Such intensified cooperation will remain fully in line with each country’s security and defense policy and is designed to complement, not replace, existing European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation,” it read.
“The prime minister and I have agreed… if either country suffers a disaster or an attack, the UK and Sweden will help each other in various ways,” Andersson explained at the joint press conference. “The support will be given at the request of the affected country, and may include military resources,” added the Swedish prime minister.
At his side, Johnson confirmed that “what we are saying, emphatically, is that in the event of a disaster or an attack on Sweden, the United Kingdom would come to the aid of Sweden with whatever Sweden requests,” Johnson said.
Apart from the bilateral security agreement, London agrees to provide “military resources” in case Sweden is the target of an attack, regardless of whether the Nordic country joins NATO. According to a UK government press release, London will offer to send ships, troops and fighter planes to the Nordic region, made more vulnerable by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
“As part of further defense cooperation with Sweden and Finland, the Prime Minister will offer to increase deployments to the region, including assets and personnel from the Royal Air Force, the British Army and the Royal Navy,” the statement said. Downing Street.
At the height of the national dialogue in Sweden and Finland about their integration into NATO after decades of military non-alignment, Johnson emphasized the fact that Putin’s war has forced European countries to strengthen their national security. “The war in Ukraine is forcing all of us to make difficult decisions, but sovereign nations must be free to make those decisions without fear or influence, or threats of retaliation,” the Tory leader explained.
Johnson recalled that the security agreement between London and Stockholm also contemplates strengthening cooperation in intelligence and cybersecurity. “This is an agreement that we, together, intend to build on, whether it’s sharing intelligence or working together to combat cyberattacks, whether it’s working together on defense acquisitions, whether it’s doing joint exercises together, Sweden and the UK Kingdom intend to do much more. together,” he listed.