BORIS Johnson said the UK “will not hesitate” to act after signing historic security agreements with Sweden and Finland to defend against any threat from “21st century tyrant” Vladimir Putin.

The Prime Minister said the parallel agreements would help defend each country should it come under threat as he met with leaders in both nations yesterday.

Johnson said it was “a sad irony” that the security assurance declaration was signed days after marking VE Day, but was more important than ever under the “grim circumstances” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Johnson said: “This week, many of us have been paying tribute to the brave men and women who secured victory and peace in Europe 77 years ago. So, it’s a sad irony that we’ve been forced to discuss how best to fortify our shared defences against the empty conceit of a 21st century tyrant.”

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Speaking alongside Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson at her Harpsund country retreat yesterday, he added: “The many carcasses of Russian tanks that now litter the fields and streets of Ukraine, thanks to Swedish-developed and British-built NLaws [anti-tank weapons], certainly speak to how effective that co-operation can be. Most importantly, this is an agreement that enshrines the values that both Sweden and the UK hold dear, and which we will not hesitate to defend.”

Andersson said she was “very happy” to sign the bilateral agreement.

Asked during a press conference in Helsinki alongside Finnish president Sauli Niinisto if there would be “British boots on the ground” on Finnish territory during a “possible conflict with Russia”, he said: “I think the solemn declaration is itself clear.

“And what it says is that in the event of a disaster, or in the event of an attack on either of us, then yes, we will come to each other’s assistance, including with military assistance.

“But the nature of that assistance will of course depend upon the request of the other party.

“But it’s also intended to be the foundation of an intensification of our security.”

It comes as both European countries consider the prospect of Nato membership in the face of Putin’s ongoing military aggression.

The declarations build on claims made earlier in the month that the UK would always aid Finland if it were attacked by Russia, regardless of whether the country was a member of Nato.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said it was “inconceivable” that Britain would not help either Finland or Sweden if it were in crisis, even “without any big formal agreement”.

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Johnson held talks with Andersson and Niinisto in March as part of a meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force nations, which includes Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway.

After the meeting, Downing Street said the two leaders agreed that “Putin’s invasion had dramatically changed the landscape of European security”.

Finland shares a lengthy land border with Russia and is only about 250 miles from St Petersburg.

Labour called on the Government to supply Ukraine with Nato weapons and to “rethink army cuts”. Shadow defence secretary John Healey called on the Government to supply Nato stocks to Ukrainian fighters, telling the Commons: “There was no mass mobilisation from President Putin on Monday, but we must now expect this conflict to be long and slow.”