21 February 2022
Andrew Bridgen questions Defence Secretary on link between Afghanistan withdrawal and President Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine

Following the Defence Secretary’s statement on the latest situation regarding Russia’s actions towards Ukraine, Andrew Bridgen asks if the withdrawal from Afghanistan by ourselves and our allies has emboldened President Putin and contributed to events now unfolding on the Ukraine border.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con)

To what extent does my right hon. Friend believe that the undignified withdrawal from Afghanistan by ourselves and our allies has emboldened President Putin and contributed to setting in train the events that are now unfolding on the Ukraine border?

Mr Wallace (Secretary of State for Defence)

President Putin wrote his article last July, before the Afghanistan withdrawal, and I think that that is the biggest symbol of what his ambitions were. But it is absolutely the case that people who do not agree with our values will sniff a lack of resolve and take action. That is why we have to be resolved.

Hansard