Prime Minister to host Nordic and Baltic leaders as he pushes to bolster European resilience and defence

EuropePrime Minister to host Nordic and Baltic leaders as he pushes to bolster European resilience and defence

Nordic and Baltic leaders will attend a summit in London this week hosted by the Prime Minister, as he continues to lead the charge on ensuring no one actor or malign government can fundamentally compromise European security again.

The Prime Minister will host the leaders of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), a northern European security coalition, bringing together representatives from Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.

While the JEF began as a defence-focused group, the Prime Minister has been impressed by the common approach and values shared by its members. They will discuss the immediate crisis in Ukraine but also long-term energy security and how they can help Ukraine rebuild again after war.

The grouping faces a unique set of threats from Russia, with some members facing aggression on their land borders, in the skies and from the North and Baltic Seas. Many face increasing cyber threats too.

The Prime Minister is set to host the group for dinner at Chequers on Monday night, after inviting the leaders to his country residence during the most recent JEF leader call last month.

The leaders will then meet in London on Tuesday before the Prime Minister hosts the leaders of Finland and Sweden at Downing Street in the afternoon. He is expected to host the Prime Minister of Latvia ahead of the summit on Monday.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

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.

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.

The Prime Minister is set to raise the importance of broader European security in his meetings, and will urge leaders to work together to ensure that no other nations can fall victim to Putin’s aggression

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 in the High North, North Atlantic and Baltic Sea the member nations deepen military ties and interoperability.

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

Exercise Cold Response will be the largest of its kind in 30 years.

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