27 February 2024
Norman highlights ramp up in Russian arms production and seeks update on NATO Ukraine response

Jesse Norman highlights Russia’s plans for a ten-fold increase in its production of shells and ammunition in the next two or three years and asks about the UK, Europe and NATO allies’ longer-term response to this serious challenge.

Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire) (Con)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a direct threat to Europe and of course to wider global security. As my hon. Friend will know, Russia has increased, as part of its war mobilisation, its production of shells and ammunition by some factor of 10—or it is planning to do so in the next two or three years. What conversations has he had across Europe and with NATO allies about the longer-term response to this serious challenge?

The Minister for Defence Procurement (James Cartlidge)

My right hon. Friend recently joined the Select Committee and I welcome him to it. He makes an excellent point. First, there is a lot of speculation about the level of production by the Russians. They have needed to increase that because they have lost a huge amount of ordnance and armoured vehicles and, tragically, a large number of personnel. On the long term, I draw his attention to the MPIs, which is where we are joining other NATO members for collective orders of ordnance. The first one we have announced is for missiles and for munitions. That is a powerful signal. We hope it will send a strong demand signal to industry in Europe, but it also sends a signal to Putin and the world that we are determined to stand together and stand up to Putin.