I agree with the Foreign Secretary that we should encourage all NATO allies to spend 2% of their GDP on defence, but will the Minister take this opportunity to send a message to President-elect Trump and to President Putin that article 5 is sacrosanct and not in any way conditional on our allies’ spending levels?
Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Russians’ stationing of new ballistic missiles in Kaliningrad is curious given that it will probably unite NATO members, the United States in particular, around article 5?
NATO is taking necessary and proportionated steps—balanced with dialogue—to strengthen defence and deterrents in response to Russian belligerence. At Warsaw, NATO announced an enhanced forward presence, which my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has already referenced today, in Poland and the Baltic states. The UK will lead in Estonia, providing an infantry battalion of 800 troops from May of next year.
May I come back to article 5? The principle that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all is the cornerstone on which the alliance is built. At a time when the Baltic states are rightly concerned about Russian expansionism, that principle is now more important than ever. Will the Minister make it clear today that article 5 is an inviolable right for all NATO members, not something that is contingent on how much they spend on defence?