Ukraine war: Boris Johnson to host summit with Nordic and Baltic leaders to deter Russian aggression | Politics News

The prime minister is to hold a two-day summit with leaders of Nordic and Baltic countries in talks aimed at protecting them from attack by Russia.

Boris Johnson will host talks with leaders and representatives of nine countries at Chequers on Monday and in Downing Street on Tuesday.

The nine – Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway – are allies in a Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), a northern European security coalition.

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On the PM’s summit agenda will be moves to bolster European resilience and defence amid fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin may extend his onslaught beyond Ukraine.

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“European security has been shaken by the attack of Russia on Ukraine and alongside our partners we will take action to ensure we emerge stronger and more united than before,” Mr Johnson said.

“Ensuring we are resilient to Putin’s threats needs to go beyond our military footing, together alongside our North and Baltic Sea partners we must ensure we are insulated from Russia’s interference and impact on our energy supplies, economy and values.”

According to Downing Street sources, the PM will raise the importance of broader European security and urge leaders to work together to ensure that no other nations can fall victim to Mr Putin’s aggression.

The UK government believes the group faces unique threats from Russia, with some members facing aggression on their land borders, in the skies and from the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and many face increasing cyber threats too.

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Mr Johnson will host the group for dinner at Chequers on Monday evening, after he invited the leaders to his country residence in Buckinghamshire during the most recent JEF talks last month.

The leaders will then meet in London on Tuesday before the PM hosts the leaders of Finland and Sweden at Downing Street in the afternoon.

He is also expected to host the prime minister of Latvia ahead of the summit on Monday.

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The summit follows the deployment of UK Armed Forces to Exercise Cold Response in Norway, where more than 30,000 troops from 27 nations will be put through their paces in extreme temperatures.

The military exercise will be the largest of its kind in 30 years and is aimed at preparing NATO countries and their allies to prevent or repel a Ukraine-style invasion wherever it happens.

At the two-day summit, the leaders and representatives will discuss:

  • Shoring up European security and increasing defensive military support to Ukraine
  • Working together on greater resilience against hostile state threats
  • Joint military exercises in the High North and Baltic regions

According to Downing Street, Mr Johnson is leading the charge on ensuring no one actor or malign government can fundamentally compromise European security again.

The leaders and the other representatives will discuss the immediate crisis in Ukraine but also long-term energy security and how they can help Ukraine rebuild again after war.

They are also expected to agree to an enhanced programme of integrated JEF exercises and activities at sea, on land and in the air in the North Sea, North Atlantic and Baltic Sea.

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