House of Commons Defence Committee – 10th Report

The tenth report of the British House of Commons Defence Committee is now online.

From the Conclusion:

39.  Although Russia does not pose a military threat to NATO as an Alliance, some Central and Eastern European NATO Member States are understandably concerned about the military threat that Russia poses to them individually, given Russia’s actions in Georgia. It is important they are reassured. (Paragraph 211)

40.  It is in NATO’s interests to continue to support the territorial integrity of Georgia. If Russia believes it has carte blanche to disregard international law there is an increased risk of other countries suffering the same fate as Georgia. The credibility of NATO as a military alliance is based on its ability to provide mutual defence to its Member States, as outlined in Article 5. NATO’s new Strategic Concept should contain a renewed commitment to Article 5 as well as ensuring that NATO is militarily capable of acting inside and outside of NATO boundaries. NATO is strongest when its Member States are united; the UK Government should work within NATO to ensure that this is achieved. (Paragraph 212)

41.  It is right that NATO, the EU and the UK Government engage with Russia both on areas of cooperation and areas of disagreement. Russia has much to gain from positioning itself firmly within the community of nations. Engagement is important to build trust and avoid a new confrontation arising between Russia and the West. The Government should adopt a hard-headed approach to engagement with Russia, based on the reality of Russia’s foreign policy rather than abstract and misleading notions of shared values. (Paragraph 213)

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