HELSINKI, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and visiting UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a joint statement pledging mutual assistance in Helsinki on Wednesday evening. Earlier in the day, Johnson signed a similar document with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in Harpsund, Sweden.
Local commentators have said the document is a political assurance, and not a binding agreement between states requiring parliamentary approval.
It is being viewed as a public pledge that the UK will assist Finland during the NATO application process.
"We confirmed that, should either country suffer a disaster or an attack, the United Kingdom and Finland will, upon request from the affected country, assist each other in a variety of ways, which may include military means," the statement said.
At the press conference, President Niinisto underlined that the goal of joining NATO is to improve Finland's security, not to antagonize other countries.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said the document ensures that Finland and the UK will be able to extend their cooperation.
Johnson arrived in Helsinki on the eve of an expected announcement by President Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin regarding Finnish membership of NATO.