Anglo-Russian Relations

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:40 pm on 4th May 2016.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Chair, Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee, Chair, Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee 4:40 pm, 4th May 2016

I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this important debate. May I suggest another reason why we do not understand Russia well enough? It is that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office needs greater resources to better understand events on the ground generally. It is a known fact, now widely recognised, that there were, for example, no Crimea experts in the FCO at the time of the Russian intervention in Crimea. Since the end of the cold war, the FCO has continuously wound down its Russian coverage. Does he agree that that needs to be put right, so that we understand events on the ground better, including the complexity that is Russia?