Britain would help Sweden militarily if it was attacked: UK defence minister

Sweden can count on help from the UK if we are attacked by Russia, Britain's defence secretary, Ben Wallace, has said.

Britain would help Sweden militarily if it was attacked: UK defence minister
British defence secretary Ben Wallace, Denmark's defence minister Morten Bødskov and Sweden's defence minister Peter Hultqvist at a joint press conference in Copenhagen. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The UK would definitely help Sweden if Russia were to mount an attack, British defence secretary Ben Wallace said at a joint press conference in Copenhagen, alongside Sweden’s defence minister, Peter Hultqvist, and Denmark’s defence minister Morten Bødskov. 

“Sweden is part of the same family. We would stand beside Sweden and do everything we can to help, both militarily and in other ways,” Wallace said.

Hultqvist welcomed the British assurances, which he said he had been given previously in informal discussions between the ministers.

He said he was “pleased” that Wallace was now making the same statement in public. “This is a statement from the UK which we are pleased to hear,” he said.

“For the last eight years, Sweden has increased its military capacity substantially. We have an investment programme with an 80 percent increase between 2014-2025 and are now negotiating further measures,” he told the TT newswire. “Sweden has made at least 20 agreements with other countries, including the UK and the USA, and a partnership with Nato.

“We are developing and deepening our partnership with Nato. We have tried to piece together parts of a security jigsaw in our part of Europe together with others, and if someone in our vicinity is attacked, we will all be affected.” 

The countries’ defence ministers had met in Copenhagen in connection with a pre-planned training exercise as part of the British-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).

During the visit, it became clear that the meeting was not just about an exercise. Material and Danish personnel will be sent to Estonia on the Danish frigate HDMS Niels Juel, escorted by the Swedish corvette HMS Karlstad, and a Swedish helicopter.

The exercise and the operation should be seen as part of Nato’s deterrent measures against Russia and president Vladimir Putin, Bødskov said.

“There is one man which is chiefly responsible for the situation we are currently in, and that is Putin,” he said. “He is the one who – in the most brutal way – has removed a land’s right to choose freely and independently who they want to cooperate with. That is what he has taken away from the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government.”

The other Nordic countries, the three Baltic states and the Netherlands are also part of the operation in Copenhagen. Apart from Sweden and Finland, the other countries are all members of Nato.

Member comments

  1. The UK has issued 50 Visas to Ukrainian Refugees as of today . If I were Sweden , I would look elsewhere for military help not the UK . Indians , Africans and Chinese students are being refused exit on the trains in Ukraine , and have to walk 500 KMS to Poland where upon arrival they are denied entry because they are not White . The Chinese are not impressed , the Africans disgusted , and India will never support any country that supports this kind of racism . Sweden should back off , it is not a military power , it has had it easy for seven hundred years , so stop the Drum Roll to joining NATO and stop annoying Russia , stop it or Sweden will no longer be the safest country to live in the World !

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Swedish fighter charged in Russian-occupied Donetsk

A Swedish man who fought on the Ukrainian side in the fight for the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol has been charged by the authorities in Russian-occupied Donetsk for fighting as a mercenary. 

Swedish fighter charged in Russian-occupied Donetsk

The charges were reported by the Russian state-controlled news wire Tass, and confirmed by Sweden’s foreign ministry. 

“We have this information about a Swedish citizen who is currently being denied his freedom and we are working to get some clarity about this,” the ministry’s press service told TT. “We are not currently ready to provide any more detailed information than this. 

Pro-Russian authorities occupying Donetsk accuse the man of fighting as a mercenary. Alongside the Swedish man, one Croatian and three Brits are also facing judicial action, which newspaper Expressen was the first to report.

The news agency reported at the beginning of July that the man had been captured. The last Ukrainian defenders ceased fighting in Azovstal around May 20th.

Two Brits and a Moroccan citizen have previously been given the death penalty on the same charges.