Ukraine: Support for NATO Allies

Defence – in the House of Commons on 21st February 2022.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

What steps his Department is taking to support NATO allies in response to the build-up of Russian troops and assets on the border of Ukraine.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

The UK continues actively to support its allies on NATO’s eastern front. The Prime Minister recently announced a further uplift of UK Defence support to eastern allies, including doubling the number of UK troops in Estonia, deploying more RAF aircraft to southern Europe, and deploying HMS Trent and a Type 45 Destroyer to the eastern Mediterranean.

Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

I recognise the efforts being made by the French President to ensure that we have a peace summit, and I pray that he is successful. Unity with our allies matters now more than ever—a point that I hope some Conservative Members will take into account before making cheap populist swipes at our allies and neighbours. What are the UK Government doing to ensure that we have a united European and NATO strategy to demonstrate our commitment to Ukraine and our deep desire for a diplomatic solution?

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

All of us, including the French President, are signed up to the NATO alliance—all 30 of us. Indeed, it was NATO that responded to Russia’s draft treaty that it offered in December; we responded in January. That is the common position that we are all bound to, and in that position we will not reward aggression or compromise on NATO’s open-door policy. We will stick together as an alliance to defend the sovereign rights of countries and their right to choose, irrespective of what they do to that choice.