Shailesh Vara welcome the Prime Minister’s statement on Ukraine and calls on the Government to counter Russian misinformation that NATO is anything other than a defensive alliance.
May I commend the Prime Minister on his tough statement? The point has already been made about the disinformation that is coming from the Kremlin, but he will appreciate that much of that is targeted at NATO. Will he use this opportunity to make it absolutely clear that NATO is a defensive organisation and that it should not in any way be construed as being offensive or threatening?
Yes, my hon. Friend is so right, because that is the misconception, whether witting or otherwise. Russia persists in the fiction that NATO is somehow an aggressive alliance and a threat to Russia. NATO is not an aggressive alliance; Russia is not encircled by threats. It is absolutely vital that we convey that to Vladimir Putin. If he can understand that, that is the route to progress and that is the diplomatic path that we have to follow.