James Sunderland questions PM on military support for Ukraine

James Sunderland asks the Prime Minister about the feasibility of direct military action by NATO to support Ukraine.

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

The Prime Minister will know that Ukraine is not a full member of NATO, but may I ask him to comment on the feasibility of direct military action by NATO, notwithstanding that article 5 does not apply?

The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)

I thank my hon. Friend very much, and I go back to the answer I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood). I know that, emotionally, many people will want to commit NATO troops to the defence of Ukraine. We have UK troops there now, and members of the Ranger Regiment are going to supplement those we already have.

I have to say that no member of NATO is currently willing to deploy in Ukraine in large numbers to fight Russian aggression in the way that my hon. Friend suggests. Indeed, we have to beware of doing things that would constitute a pretext for Putin to invade. We have to calculate and calibrate what we do very carefully, and I think that the right approach is to build a strong package of economic sanctions, continue to supply defensive weaponry and do all the other things that we are doing.