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Jonathan Djanogly questions why Russia would want to engage in another arms range

4th February 2019

Following the Government statement on the US proposal to end the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty following Russia’s non compliance, Jonathan Djanogly highlights the state of the economy in Russia and asks if it is a sign of Russia’s weakness.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con)
The Russian economy is doing very poorly, partly as a result of falling oil prices and partly as a result of crushing economic sanctions, and one wonders why they want to engage in another arms race in such a state. Could it not be a sign of weakness on the part of Russia—the dying gasp of a bankrupt regime?

Mark Field
I thank my hon. Friend for his arguably slightly optimistic view on these matters. I will not speculate about the state of the Russian regime, but I am not convinced that this will necessarily lead to an arms race. For the reasons I have pointed out, my concern is with what one might call the 21st-century aspects—the disinformation war, cyber-attacks and the like—on which the Russians’ main efforts will be focused in the future. As he rightly points out, however, the state of Russia’s economy is grisly—to put it mildly—and it might well be, as he says, that it is behaving in this way out of weakness rather than strength.


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