Arctic: Security and Co-operation - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:18 pm on 28 June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Boyce Lord Boyce Crossbench 1:18, 28 June 2021

My Lords, the Government are to be commended for the robust stance taken last week in sanctioning HMS “Defender” to passage, perfectly legitimately, through the international separation zone waters past Crimea, and for us not to succumb to Russian bullying and lying. Does the Minister agree that we should be acting in a similarly robust way in the north, allowing our warships to operate in international waters in the Arctic and the Barents Sea and not allowing Russia to claim such waters as their private seas by default—which will be doubly important as the north-eastern passage to the Far East becomes more accessible? I feel that the Minister’s answer to the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay of St Johns, was not sufficiently robust on that matter.