Niinistö discusses defense cooperation with other European leaders Johnson in London

President heads to London for a two-day summit of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) on Monday, his office announced late Saturday.

and are the only non-NATO countries in the group of 10 countries that established the framework for possible future forces in 2012.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Johnson invited the meeting to discuss the war in and the security situation in Europe.

According to Johnson’s office, he will host the group for dinner at his farmhouse in West London at Checkers on Monday night. The Prime Minister will meet then "Leaders of Finland and Sweden" Downing Street in London on Tuesday afternoon. Niinistö also has other personal discussions.

Meetings in London and Checkers are scheduled " Strengthening European security and increasing defensive military support for Ukraine" and "job[ing] together with better resilience to hostile state threats," it said.

The JEF is a British-led framework for multilateral defense co-operation, comprising the five Nordic countries, the three Baltic countries and the Netherlands. All are members of the EU, with the exception of the United Kingdom, and . According to the Group, its main operating environment is Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea region.

Leaders are "Whereas Member States are expected to benefit from an enhanced program of integrated JEF exercises and activities at sea, on land and in the North, North Atlantic and Baltic Seas, and to deepen military ties and interoperability;" The British government said.

Finnish conscripts are participating in a NATO-led exercise in Norway

The summit will take place when the NATO-led Cold Response exercise begins in northern Norway. More than 30,000 soldiers from 27 countries, including Britain, Finland and Sweden, are fighting in extreme temperatures. The exercise starts on Monday, and Finnish soldiers will join on Friday.

The exercise Cold Response, the largest of its kind in three decades, was unveiled eight months ago and is not related to ’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO says.

According to the Defense Forces, the exercise is part of it "deepening defense cooperation" Between Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Nearly 700 Finnish soldiers – including almost 500 conscripts – will take part in the exercises as part of the Swedish brigade from 18 March to 2 April.

The attack on Ukraine has sparked debate and public support for joining NATO in traditionally non-aligned Finland and Sweden. However, leaders in both countries have indicated that they do not plan immediate decisions on applying.

Finland and Sweden have "enhanced membership" In the NATO Partnership for Peace program. Ukraine and Russia have also been program members since 1994.

Finland is the only non-NATO EU country bordering Russia.

Source: The Nordic Page

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