Heappey Refuses to Rule Out NATO Involvement if Russians Have Used Chemical Weapons

Following unconfirmed reports overnight that Russian forces have deployed chemical weapons in Ukraine, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey appeared on the media round this morning to warn that, if confirmed, the attack “crosses a line” and refused to rule out direct NATO involvement for the first time. Ominous, although still unlikely…

Speaking on the Today programme, Heappey said:

“…I think it’s important that everybody is clear that the reports overnight haven’t been verified […] but if they were used, [world leaders] have all been clear that that crosses a line and all options are on the table for how we would respond…”

Pushed for specifics, Heappey added:

“I think some ambiguity is useful, but all options means all options… it’s also not for any government minister from an individual country to pledge NATO involvement, it’s perfectly possible that a response to chemical weapons use could happen outwith NATO involvement. But ‘all options on the table’ is meant as a deterrent to President Putin…”

Truss used a similar line last night, although Heappey’s refusal to rule out a direct NATO response goes even further. All we can do is wait and see…

mdi-tag-outline NATO Ukraine
mdi-account-multiple-outline James Heappey Liz Truss
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