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The EU will protect Finland and Sweden from Russia

18-5-2022 |

The European Union has expressed its readiness to stand up for Finland and Sweden if Russia attacks them while their accession process to NATO is underway.

During a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy welcomed the final decision of the two Nordic countries to apply for membership in the Alliance. Asked whether Article 42.7 of the Treaty of Alliance could be applied to protect the Finns and Swedes from possible Russian aggression, Josep Borrell answered in the affirmative:

"If a State is attacked on its territory and armed forces are used against it, and it is a member of the European Union, that State may request assistance from others. And the others are obliged to do so by all means. No more and no less.”

This article of the Lisbon Treaty, which broadly interprets the concept of solidarity, already applied in 2015, when EU defense ministers agreed to help France, which suffered from terrorist attacks.

The UK has offered its security guarantees to countries that intend to join NATO.

Rasmussen Global military analyst Fabrice Potier does not believe the Russian threat to Finland and Sweden has increased significantly:

"Moscow has taken a rather soft stance on this issue. The Russians, of course, have expressed their displeasure. They have threatened to take some military-technical measures. But the main thing is the political decision of the Finns and the Swedes was acceptable for them. What they will not accept, and here Putin is trying to draw a red line, is any deployment of NATO forces on the territory of the two countries.”

The EU also decided to provide another 500 million euros in financial support for the Ukrainian armed forces, bringing the total cost of the military fund for that country to 2 billion euros. The money is provided through the European Peace Fund and allows Kyiv to buy weapons and equipment to repel Moscow's hostile actions. And firms that have made such purchases for Ukraine themselves are compensated.