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Ukraine in agreement with Sweden, Iceland, Norway over security

Ukraine has signed security agreements with Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

“The agreement is a powerful signal to Russia that it is basically pointless to continue the war with the assumption that Western countries will tire.”

Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson disclosed this on Friday before the signing ceremony in Stockholm.

Kristersson described supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia as a “fundamental, existential task” for the countries of Northern Europe, whose security is also threatened by Russia’s actions.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Sweden for the assistance provided.

“Only together can we stop the madness from Moscow,” he emphasised.

The agreements are initially valid for 10 years.

Ukraine has already signed similar security deals with Denmark and Finland.

Zelensky is in Stockholm for the third Ukraine-Northern Europe Summit.

According to Kristersson, talks were planned on the provision of further air defence, a peace summit in Switzerland in June as well as to help Ukraine’s path to joining the NATO military alliance and the European Union.

Zelensky also has separate meetings with the heads of government of Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Meanwhile, Kremlin once again warned Ukraine’s allies against allowing Kiev to hit Russian territory using Western weapons, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman promising “consequences’’ if such strikes were to occur.

“It will ultimately be very damaging to the interests of those countries that have chosen the path of escalating tensions,’’ spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

The question of whether to let Kiev use Western weapons to hit military targets in Russia has loomed larger as fighting intensifies along certain sections of the Ukraine-Russia border.

Kiev is especially struggling to halt Russia’s offensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region.

Foreign ministers from the 32 countries of the NATO defence alliance are meeting in Prague on Thursday to discuss the issue, among others.

Western weapons have so far been aimed primarily at Russian positions in the areas of Ukraine occupied by Moscow’s forces.

In Vienna, Russian diplomat Konstantin Gavrilov warned the West against crossing “red lines,’’ saying Moscow has the right to use nuclear weapons in response to aggression even in the case of an attack with conventional weapons.

He spoke at an event organised by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

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