Ukraine Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:18 pm on 26th January 2023.

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Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 12:18 pm, 26th January 2023

Let me deal with the issue of France. It is, of course, a matter for sovereign nations to make their decision, and we would respectfully point out and welcome the decision of the French Government to provide Ukraine with the AMX-10 highly mobile tank. It is not their main battle tank, as my hon. Friend points out, but it is, none the less, one that has been used very recently in reconnaissance missions by the French army and was deployed as recently as the Barkhane mission in west Africa. That comes together with a number of very sophisticated and lethal bits of ammunition. We would, of course, welcome further progress, but, ultimately, it is a matter for them.

My hon. Friend raises an important question that will doubtless be in the minds of many people, which is why not give more. That is something that we will keep under review, but we do have to balance it with the point that Mr Jones made about UK sovereign capability and the ability for us to deploy tanks in the defence of our own borders. These are difficult judgments to make, but we are satisfied that our initial contribution, which has helped to galvanise and catalyse further international contributions, is the right donation to be making at this stage. We keep all these matters under review.