PM offers support to European allies facing Russian aggression

  • The Prime Minister will travel to Brussels and Warsaw today for talks with NATO Secretary General and Polish leaders

  • Foreign and defense ministers head to Moscow as Britain leads international de-escalation efforts

  • The Prime Minister announces that 1,000 more British troops are to be deployed to support NATO and its allies in the event of a humanitarian crisis

The Prime Minister will fly to Brussels and Warsaw today (February 10, 2022) to call on international partners to show their solidarity with NATO allies who are bearing the brunt of Russian aggression.

The prime minister will stress to allies that they must not compromise on NATO’s core principles. These include the inviolability of countries’ sovereignty, the right of any European democracy to seek NATO membership, and NATO’s obligation to protect the security of its member states.

The UK stands ready to work on a diplomatic way forward and we believe this can be achieved. But it can only be based on existing international agreements and the basic principles of a united and free Europe.

Britain spearheaded efforts to stem Russian hostility toward its neighbors. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister received Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė at Downing Street to discuss the need for NATO unity in the face of aggression.

In recent days he has also repeated this message to the heads of state and government of Germany, France and the Netherlands. Overall, UK ministers have discussed the situation with more than a third of NATO member states over the past two weeks.

The foreign minister is in Moscow today and the defense minister will be there tomorrow for talks with his counterparts. They will emphasize that the only way forward is for Russia to end its aggressive campaign of hybrid warfare and engage in meaningful talks.

The Prime Minister said:

When NATO was formed, allies made a historic commitment to protect the freedom of every member state. The UK remains steadfast in its commitment to European security.

What we need is real diplomacy, not forced diplomacy. As an alliance, we must draw lines in the snow and make it clear that there are principles on which we will not compromise. This includes the security of every NATO ally and the right of every European democracy to seek NATO membership.

During their visit to Brussels, the Prime Minister and NATO Secretary General will discuss Britain’s offer to strengthen the Alliance’s defences. This offer includes doubling the number of British troops in Estonia in support of NATO’s increased forward presence, stationing more RAF jets to form a squadron in southern Europe, and sailing both HMS TRENT and a Type 45 destroyer to the east Mediterranean to help protect the seas and skies in the southeastern corner of NATO.

The UK is also one of the first countries to support Poland, demonstrating international unity on NATO’s eastern flank. Earlier this week we announced that up to 350 members of 45 Commando would be deployed to Poland and today the Prime Minister announced that 1,000 more British troops would be deployed to the UK to support humanitarian aid in the region if required should be.

In December, the United Kingdom came to the aid of Poland and Lithuania after they asked for help dealing with a Russian-managed refugee crisis on their borders with Belarus. Any further Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a humanitarian catastrophe, likely to lead to mass displacement of people on Europe’s borders, hitting countries like Poland and Lithuania particularly hard.

Personnel from the 45th Commando, already stationed in Poland, and the Royal Welsh Battlegroup, due to arrive in Estonia in the coming weeks, will help Poland and other Eastern European countries deal with the effects of Russian aggression. Their activities include joint training, conducting exercises and supporting emergency planning. These efforts will be supported as needed by the troops standing by today.

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