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PM to host Nordic and Baltic leaders for talks on Ukraine crisis

Boris Johnson will urge the coalition to work together to ensure no further nations fall victim to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

12 March 2022

Boris Johnson is preparing to embark on a series of meetings with Nordic and Baltic leaders as he seeks to bolster European resilience following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister will host a summit of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) in London this week, where he will urge leaders to work together to ensure no further nations fall victim to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression, No 10 said.

The northern European security coalition includes the UK, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.

Downing Street said the group will discuss the immediate crisis in Ukraine, as well as how they can help the country “rebuild again after war”.

Chequers
Boris Johnson will host the leaders for dinner at his official country residence, Chequers (Steve Parsons/PA)

Talks will cover “increasing defensive military support to Ukraine” and the issue of “long-term energy security”, it said, while the Prime Minister will urge the coalition to work towards “greater resilience against hostile state threats”.

Mr Johnson will host the group for dinner at his official country residence, Chequers, on Monday night.

The coalition will then meet in London on Tuesday, before the Prime Minister is joined by the leaders of Finland and Sweden at Downing Street in the afternoon.

Mr Johnson is expected to host the prime minister of Latvia ahead of the summit on Monday.

The JEF faces “a unique set of threats from Russia”, including on some of the members’ land borders, in the skies and from the North and Baltic seas, as well as in the cyber realm, No 10 said.

Looking ahead to the meetings, Mr Johnson said European security had been “shaken” by Russia’s attack on its neighbour, adding that the UK and its partners would “take action to ensure we emerge stronger and more united than before”.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
(PA Graphics)

The Prime Minister said resilience to Mr Putin’s threats must “go beyond our military footing”.

“Together… we must ensure we are insulated from Russia’s interference and impact on our energy supplies, economy and values,” he added.

The leaders are also expected to agree to an enhanced programme of integrated JEF exercises and activities at sea, on land and in the air.

The summit will follow the deployment of UK armed forces to Exercise Cold Response in Norway this weekend, involving more than 30,000 troops from 27 nations.

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