Sir Julian Lewis: What further steps can be taken to reduce the effectiveness of the criminal Wagner organisation? Is the Ministry of Defence satisfied that all its expenditure on helping Ukraine is being fully reimbursed from the Treasury reserve?
[The Minister for Defence Procurement (Alex Chalk): Those are two very important points, for which I am grateful.
On the second point, yes, expenditure is being reimbursed by the Treasury. Indeed, when we look at the sums that have been allocated for ammunition, there is an additional £650 million to procure not just replacement ammunition, but deeper supplies. That is a very important point. It is a statement of fact that it takes time – of course it does – to replenish those stores, but the funding is in place to do so.
On the first point, as my right hon. Friend will appreciate, tactical decisions about precisely how equipment is deployed – it could be against the Wagner organisation in and around Soledar and Bakhmut – is a matter for commanders on the ground. Our job, as we see it, is to ensure that those decision makers in the field have the equipment they need to push back against Russian forces, Wagner forces or whoever it is. If the Russians have their own difficulties over precisely who is in control and the politics within their ranks, that is a matter for them.]