27th April 2017

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of (a) the purpose and (b) trends in the level of Russian naval activity around the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap; and if he will make a statement.

Mike Penning, Minister of State for the Armed Forces: Russian maritime operations are closely monitored. According to Russian doctrine, the purpose of Russian naval activity is to conduct routine operations in support of their national interests, which Russia sees as including surveillance of UK and NATO maritime operations. The general trend of Russian naval activity has been to increase, year on year, since a post-cold war low point around 2000. Russia has a long standing policy of using its maritime capabilities to send strategic messages.

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