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

My noble friend speaks with great insight on these matters and I agree with him. Since October, there has been some hope of notice being given. The United States has shown that it acted in line with its obligations—it continued to abide by the treaty—and it has to be made absolutely clear that it is because of Russian actions that we have reached this point. However, there remains a window of opportunity. In line with the details of that treaty, there remains a six-month window, during which there is an opportunity for Russia to step up to the mark and fulfil its obligations. However, I agree with my noble friend, bearing in mind that the first occasion on which its non-compliance was brought to light was in 2014 and it took another three years before there was even a basic acknowledgement by the Russians that these weapons existed. The challenge remains real and the UK supports the United States’ actions.