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NATO Summit

Volume 586: debated on Monday 20 October 2014

5. What progress was made in delivering the UK’s priorities at the NATO summit in September 2014. (905517)

The NATO summit in Wales reached important conclusions on NATO’s response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, on the 2% of GDP guideline for defence spending, on the reform of NATO, on countering Islamist extremism, on the future of Afghanistan, and on supporting our military and their families, all of which were United Kingdom priorities.

In the week of the Ukrainian elections, what are NATO and the UK with NATO saying to the people of Ukraine about their uncertain border and insecurity?

We continue to address this issue through sanctions and through the political work of the European Union. NATO is implementing the decisions taken at Newport, which will see NATO’s responsiveness increase significantly. We have offered four Typhoon aircraft for next year as part of the ongoing policing mission, and the deployment of 3,500 troops as part of NATO exercise activity this year and next. We have also offered a battlegroup and a brigade headquarters as part of the new very high readiness joint taskforce.

Will the Secretary of State update the House on any subsequent discussions he has had with his Turkish counterpart on what active part Turkey may be playing in dealing with ISIS and Islamic extremism?

My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister have been in discussion with our allies about the role that the Turkish Government could play in the middle east. For the Turkish Government, as the hon. Lady will know, it is an extremely complicated situation, but it is important that all the neighbours of Iraq and Syria contribute to the effort to prevent Iraq from falling apart and Syria from falling into further bloodshed.

President Putin’s activities in eastern Ukraine have been largely covert and deniable. Does my right hon. Friend agree that if President Putin tried similar tactics in any of the three Baltic states, that would constitute a breach of article 5 of the NATO treaty? If my right hon. Friend does not agree with me on that, would that not fundamentally undermine the credibility of NATO?

I do agree with my hon. Friend—the Baltic states are members of NATO and fully entitled to the protection that NATO members afford to each other. It is also important that where we confront such ambiguous warfare, NATO is unambiguous in its response to it and labels an annexation as an annexation and the invasion of Ukraine as an invasion.

The NATO summit announcement on the development of the new Scout armoured vehicle was a good thing. It will help our troops in battle and boost employment at General Dynamics in south Wales and down the supply chain, but can the Minister update us on the possibility of more British jobs on this project, particularly in south Wales?

Yes, there are jobs involved in the supply chain for that contract, including high-value jobs in design and engineering, which will be in Wales, and in the manufacture of the turrets, which will be elsewhere in England. Other parts of the armoured vehicle are being manufactured in Scotland, so the United Kingdom stands to benefit overall from this project, which is the largest single order given to the Army in over 30 years.