York MP Wants Russia Kicked Out of NATO Parliamentary Assembly
2:36pm 2nd June 2014
In his opening speech to the spring meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on Friday 30 May 2014 in Vilnius, Lithuania, Hugh Bayley, the Assembly’s President called for:
- Russia to be excluded from the Assembly following its annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine (which was agreed by the Assembly)
- Governments of NATO countries to reaffirm the importance of transatlantic defence co-operation at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Wales (4-5 September 2014) and to increase defence spending.
Mr Bayley pointed out that Russia has doubled its defence expenditure in the last decade while NATO countries have cut their defence spending by 13% over the same period. He called on MPs in NATO countries to resist further cuts in defence budgets, and to increase expenditure on defence and security as growth returns to western economies.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is an inter-parliamentary organisation made up of 250 parliamentarians from NATO’s 28 member countries. The Assembly provides a forum for international parliamentary dialogue on security, political and economic matters and aims to foster mutual understanding between parliamentarians of the key security challenges facing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Hugh Bayley has been a member of the UK delegation since 2001 and in November 2012 was elected President of the Assembly by MPs from NATO’s 28 member states, becoming the first UK President since Sir Patrick Duffy MP (1988-1990). The UK delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly currently consists of 18 MPs/Peers - 8 Conservative, 7 Labour, 2 Liberal Democrat and 1 Democratic Unionist. More information about the work of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly can be found at www.nato-pa.int.
Hugh Bayley MP says:
“The test of good leadership is to do the right things when it is difficult, not when it is easy. The challenge for our leaders at the NATO Summit, as for us as Parliamentarians, is to make a convincing case that defence still matters, and that our Alliance is the irreplaceable foundation of that defence.”
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