java resources spring spring-boot spring-properties

Spring Boot access static resources missing scr/main/resources

I am working on a Spring Boot application. I need to parse an XML file (countries.xml) on start. The problem is that I do not understand where to put it so that I could access it.
My folders structure is


My first idea was to put it in src/main/resources, but when I try to create File (countries.xml) I get a NPE and the stacktrace shows that my file is looked in the ProjectDirectory (so src/main/resources/ is not added). I tried to create File (resources/countries.xml) and the path would look like ProjectDirectory/resources/countries.xml (so again src/main is not added).

I tried adding this with no result

public void addResourceHandlers(final ResourceHandlerRegistry registry) {

I know that I can add src/main/ manually, but I want to understand why is it not working as it has to. I also tried examples with ResourceLoader – with the same no result.

Could anyone suggest what the problem is?

Just for future references – after building the project, I encountered problem with accessing file, so I changed File to InputStream

InputStream is = new ClassPathResource("countries.xml").getInputStream();