FOREIGN AFFAIRS – UKRAINE – 10 February 2015
Dr Julian Lewis: NATO was formed originally so that no aggressor could try to pick off one country after another without knowing that he would immediately be at war with the major Powers. Is it not vital that we maintain the distinction between NATO countries and non-NATO countries? Is not the best way to reinforce the impression of the strength of NATO to give an open-ended commitment in future, as we have in the past, that we will spend 2% of GDP – the NATO recommended minimum on defence?
[Philip Hammond: As my hon. Friend knows, at the Wales summit all NATO partners signed up either to maintaining that level, for those who are already spending 2% of GDP on defence, or to making progress towards achieving that level. My hon. Friend is absolutely right that the cornerstone of our security in the UK is the Article 5 guarantee. Our allies and partners in the Baltic States are acutely conscious that their position is different from that of Ukraine, simply because they are inside NATO and benefit from the Article 5 guarantee. He is absolutely right that we need to maintain the clear distinction between the guarantee that we extend to NATO, which is absolute, and the opprobrium we heap on those who launch the kind of attacks we have seen on non-NATO members, but we will deal with attacks on non-NATO members in a different way from attacks on NATO members.]