NATO Members: Co-operation

Defence – in the House of Commons on 28th March 2022.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

What steps he is taking to help strengthen co-operation between NATO members.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

In recent months, the Secretary of State has met his NATO counterparts twice in Brussels and travelled to over a dozen European capitals. The UK is standing by its commitments to our NATO allies, acting to provide reassurance to allies and partners. The UK has doubled its NATO presence in Estonia, and a deployment of Royal Marines is now in Poland on a bilateral basis.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

Will the Government co-operate with NATO allies to continue the flow of lethal aid to the Ukrainian armed forces, including weapons such as Starstreak to defend against aircraft attacks?

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

I did not take the opportunity in my answer to a previous question to make an important distinction, but my right hon. Friend gives me that opportunity now. NATO is not the provider of lethal aid into the conflict in Ukraine. NATO is looking at how it doubles down on its eastern flank in order to contain the violence within Ukraine and show the resolve of NATO countries to stand up for article 5. Those who are donating lethal aid and non-lethal aid to Ukraine are doing so bilaterally, and it is through UK leadership that a lot of it is being co-ordinated and delivered. The next donor conference convened by the Secretary of State will happen later this week. We are ambitious for even more countries to join the donor group at that stage.