Ben Wallace says it’s ‘inconceivable’ the UK wouldn’t back Finland or Sweden if either came under attack

It is “inconceivable” that UK would not support Finland or Sweden if either was attacked, whether or not he was a member of NATO or not, Ben Wallace said Wednesday.

Ben Wallace.PNG

© Sky News
Ben Wallace.PNG

Britain’s defense minister made the comment during a press conference in Niinisalo, Finland.

Responding to questions from the media, he said: “It is inconceivable that Britain would not support Finland or Sweden if they were ever attacked.

“[That’s] Without much formal agreement. We are European countries which share the same values, which have deep and long histories, a significant number of the British population seem to be descended from the Vikings anyway.

“We have this cultural connection. I can’t imagine a time when we wouldn’t have come to support Finland and Sweden, no matter where they were with the NATO debate and where they were with the agreements.

“Whatever happens to Finland’s ambitions in NATO is entirely up to Finland’s freedom of choice, and we are here to support its freedom of choice and not allow any other nation to tell him what to do with that choice.”

Both countries plan to join NATO in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, in a major geopolitical shift for the Nordic countries.

According to local media, Finland may announce a membership application on May 12, while Sweden is currently reviewing its possible membership.

Finland shares a border with Russia, and Moscow has repeatedly warned of “serious consequences” if the two countries join the military alliance, including the potential stationing of nuclear weapons in its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.

Mr Wallace said the Russian military hardware did not appear to be worth the money they paid, as it gave an assessment of the capability of Putin’s forces in Ukraine.

He told reporters: “I think what we’ve learned from this is that the so-called Russian military hardware isn’t really worth the money they paid for it, across the board.

“They’re being taken down right now by cheap drones and poor leadership and equipment that doesn’t really work.”

He added: “It is time for many parts of Europe to wake up to the fact that Putin is not a friend – he is an aggressor…He has been warned he will get more defense spending in Europe and more NATO forces on its borders and that is exactly what it got.

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