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Russia Ukraine conflict

France says will defend Sweden, Finland against any attack amid Russian threats

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France is prepared to support Sweden and Finland, who recently announced their decision to join NATO, both politically and militarily, and protect both Nordic countries against any threats or attacks, the Elysee said on Monday, as Russia threatened a “response” to the expansion of the Western alliance.

“Whomever would seek to test European solidarity by threatening or attacking their sovereignty, through whatever means, must be certain that France will stand shoulder to shoulder with Finland and Sweden,” the Elysee said in a statement.

It added: “France reaffirms its commitment and solidarity under Article 42.7 of the Treaty of the European Union, and stands ready to increase its security and defence cooperation with both partners, including through high-level political consultations and enhanced military interactions.”

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The two Nordic countries confirmed officially that they will seek NATO membership, ending decades of military nonalignment in an historic move driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly warned of consequences if Helsinki and Stockholm joined NATO.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday his country “does not have a problem” with Sweden or Finland as they apply for NATO membership, but the “expansion of military infrastructure onto this territory will of course give rise to our reaction in response.”

Read more:

Turkey’s Erdogan says will not approve Sweden and Finland joining NATO

In Ukraine and internationally, scenario darkens for Russia

Putin says Sweden, Finland NATO bid no threat to Russia but may ‘trigger response’

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