Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:13 pm on 28th March 2022.

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Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss Minister for Women and Equalities, Foreign Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office 5:13 pm, 28th March 2022

The hon. Lady is correct. Many countries have been dependent on Russia, sometimes for defence support, sometimes for food, and sometimes for trade. What we need to do—and what we are doing, with our allies—is work to increase our trade links, our economic links and our defence links, as well as engaging with those countries to encourage them to see Russia’s actions for what they are.

If we live in a world where a sovereign state can simply be invaded with impunity, what does that mean for the future of those countries? That is the point that we are putting to all of them. At the same time, however, we recognise that there are genuine dependencies, so we have to help them to find alternative sources of trade, food and indeed defence support in order to encourage them not to side with Russia.