I met my Russian counterpart, Sergei Ivanov, most recently on
As Europe remains defenceless against ballistic missile attack, and the events of
Would not this proposal constitute nuclear proliferation? If national missile defence goes ahead, would not Europe be America's first line of defence? If indeed we are engaged in a new struggle against international terrorism and in the creation of a new world order, should we not turn away from the excessive sums that are put into such developments and try to find a new way to tackle the problem?
I am afraid that I do not accept my hon. Friend's reasoning. As part of its approach to the development of missile defence, the United States has indicated a willingness to contemplate deep cuts in its nuclear arsenal. Rather than contributing to nuclear proliferation, missile defence would substantially reduce the number of missiles, probably in both the United States and, we hope, Russia.