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23 May 2024

A Russian victory in Ukraine would lead to chronic instability across the world, conference hears

If Russia is victorious in Ukraine, chronic instability would spread across the world and give fuel to a global coalition of dictatorships, Radek Sikorski, Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs told delegates at King’s today.

Radek Sikorski London Defence Conference 2024 23 May

Speaking at the London Defence Conference, Radek Sikorski also called for the implementation and funding of a European defence industry strategy.

He said this could lead to surplus equipment production which would be enough to also equip a joint rapid reaction force of at least 5,000 troops, as the continent “shouldn't be calling on our American allies every time we have a lower order challenge in our immediate neighbourhood.”

Mr Sikorski outlined the different impacts a Russian victory across the world including how it would affect Ukrainians, lead to other countries look for other protection including nuclear deterrence, trigger an arms race and undermine the credibility of international institutions including the United Nations.

If Russia prevails chronic instability will spread not only across Europe but around the world giving extra fuel to a global coalition of dictatorships.

Radek Sikorski, Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

He said that Russia would not win the war, unless the world lets it happen, and said currently Ukrainian soldiers are not just defending their country but also “they buy Europe time to rebuild our own deterrence.”

He added that he hoped others would be inspired by the example set by Poland which spends 4% of its GDP on defence.

In his speech, which closed the three-day conference, he praised the UK for “standing up to Putin” and said the UK was an indispensable part of the global and European security architecture.

This week security experts, political leaders and academics attended the London Defence Conference at Bush House, which this year had the theme of ‘Deterrence: Building Capacity to Counter Global Threats’.

Earlier today delegates heard from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo Albin Kurti who said the threat of war in the Balkans is real, as Serbia is forging closer bonds with Russia and China, and his country wants to join NATO as soon as possible.

The three-day conference, hosted by King’s School of Security Studies, began on 21 May with a "Future Leaders Day" for students and young professionals to explore topics such as Counterterrorism, Middle East, economic sanctions and maritime security.

On the second day, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps, MP, the Secretary of State for Defence warned that “lethal aid” such as combat equipment is flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine. The Rt Hon John Healey, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, and the Rt Hon David Lammy, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, told the audience that Labour remains committed to defence and security.

Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden also told the conference that a new series of measures will prepare the nation for crises such as cyber-attacks, solar flares, power outages and another pandemic, including encouraging households to ensure they have non-perishable foods, bottles of water and torches in case of an emergencies.