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  1. Here we go: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61408700 The UK has agreed mutual security pacts with Sweden and Finland, agreeing to come to their aid should either nation come under attack. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited both countries to sign the deals, amid debate about them joining Nato. The pacts also state that Finland and Sweden would assist the UK in a crisis. Mr Johnson and Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson said co-operation was "even more important" given Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The second deal was announced in a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Mr Johnson said the "solemn declaration" between the UK and Finland was reflective of the "extreme difficulty of the times we are in". He emphasised the deal was "not a short-term stop gap" while Finland considered whether to join the Nato defensive alliance, but rather a "enduring assurance between two nations". Asked if there would be "British boots on the ground" in Finland should a conflict break out, Mr Johnson said military assistance would be offered, but that the "nature of that assistance" would depend upon the "request of the other party". Mr Johnson added the agreement would become the "foundation of an intensification of our security and our defence relationship in other ways as well". Mr Niinistö said his nation appreciated the UK's "strong support" of Nato's open-door policy to Finland's potential membership. He said joining Nato would not be "against anybody" and the UK deal was intended to "maximise our security one way or another" while considering joining the defensive alliance. However, when asked if the possible move could provoke President Vladimir Putin, Mr Niinistö said Russia would be responsible if Sweden or Finland joined Nato. He said Russia was suggesting the two nations did not have their "own will" by threatening them against applying for membership "They are ready to attack their neighbouring country, so... my response would be that 'you caused this - look at the mirror'".
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