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Operation Telic

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has (a) had and (b) initiated with his Russian counterpart to ensure that (i) Royal Navy involvement in Operation Telic is unimpeded by the Russian Navy Task Group deployed in the area and (ii) confusion and error are avoided. [109225]

On 17 April 2003 the British Embassy was officially informed, via a diplomatic note, of the Russian Naval Fleet deployment to the Indian Ocean. The international rules for the prevention of collisions at sea, the INCSEA agreement, form the basis for ensuring safety between units. INCSEA rules are embedded within Royal Navy standard operating procedures and these will be employed by the Royal Navy to ensure safe passage and to deconflict between units. Russian naval activity should in no way impede the Royal Navy's involvement in Operation Telic.