Russia-Ukraine latest news: Finland prepares for Russia to cut off gas supplies in response to Nato application pledge

Ben Wallace has said Britain would “definitely come to the aid militarily” of Finland and Sweden if such a scenario became necessary.

The Defence Secretary, speaking with The Washington Post, said the UK’s position in the Joint Expeditionary Force (which also includes Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway) meant it would “reassure” countries like Sweden and Finland that it would be “inconceivable” not to help them if attacked.

Mr Wallace also spoke about Ukrainian forces using British weapons.

He said: “Ukraine is perfectly within its right to take action to defend itself from invaders such as Russia who are illegally occupying and invading their country – that is international law.

“Part of that response to defending yourself is not only within your country, but obviously to take steps to weaken the army that is currently invading, so it would be perfectly logical that you have to do something about the supply chains that are feeding the Russian army…

“First of all, we [Britain] haven’t really given them weapons that probably could allow them to do that. We haven’t given them helicopters or aircraft or very long range equipment, so it is unlikely weapons could be used across their border. But we are giving weapons to Ukraine, in accordance with sort of United Nations article 51 allowing them to defend themselves…”