Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:12 pm on 5th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State 7:12 pm, 5th February 2019

The noble Lord is right to raise concerns. The United Kingdom and Her Majesty’s Government have raised these concerns directly. When it came to the Iran nuclear deal, notwithstanding the United States’ decision, we were firm and strengthened our co-operation with our European allies to ensure that that treaty remains alive. We will continue to work with all allies—including, particularly, NATO—to ensure that proliferation can be addressed.

The noble Lord asked about the UK’s position across the piece on nuclear weapons. We have made it very clear through our actions that we are a responsible nuclear power. We have over the years reduced the number of our own nuclear weapons and we will continue to work with key partners, most prominently NATO, to ensure that any challenges and security risks are worked through to ensure that we can work towards the reduction of nuclear weapons. That said, the risks are real. Those countries which do not abide by their obligations put such issues at risk and therefore we implore Russia to take note. I hope that this six-month period provides a moment of reflection for Russia.