Discover more from Peter Hain
European Council and Nuclear Security Summit
Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): I agree with much of what the Prime Minister has said, but does he not agree that bluster and bombast by diplomats and military leaders is unlikely to resolve the problem? Instead, we need a negotiated solution in which Ukraine’s military neutrality is guaranteed by both Moscow and Washington and in which NATO does not engage in any further enlargement or encirclement of Russia’s border, in return for a clear guarantee that Russia will not conduct any more aggressive moves in Ukraine, Moldova or any of its other neighbours. It seems to me that unless we get a deal like that, we will not make much progress.
The Prime Minister: I certainly agree that we do not want bluster and bombast; we want a talked process. But we have to be clear that a really good offer of a talked process and a contact group was on the table and the Russians refused to engage with it. That is why I think that the action taken—limited to start with, but growing—is necessary to demonstrate that there are two paths Russia can take: one of increased international isolation, and one of talks. As for the extension of NATO, I hear what the right hon. Gentleman says, but there must be many people in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia who, looking at their own country and the future they want, and because they have Russian minorities there, must feel glad that they have the protective cloak of NATO.