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 raises an important point about NATO’s previous statement. I specifically draw his attention to NATO’s statement of 1 February 2019 on this very issue. It said:

“NATO continues to closely review the security implication of Russian intermediate-range missiles and will continue to take steps necessary to ensure the credibility and effectiveness of the Alliance’s overall deterrence and defence posture”.

The NATO alliance is important, and we and all NATO partners, including the United States, are committed to it. The noble Lord will know that in April this year the next meeting of NATO will be hosted by Secretary of State Pompeo of the United States. The implication is that non-compliance and compliance have to be a two-way process. However, if from 2014 there is a clearly identified situation in which one side does not abide by the rules and does not comply, it is a tall order to expect the other side to comply. As I said, there is an opportunity for Russia to step up to the mark, and I am sure we hope that it will. However, based on experience, it might be an opportunity that is not taken up.