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Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of recent statements by the Russian Government on the potential for future conflict over resources in the Arctic; and if he will make a statement. (277289)

The Russian Security Council published its Arctic strategy, the ‘Foundations of Russia's Arctic Policy until 2020 and beyond’, on 23 March 2009. It is important to note that the Russian strategy is not just about militarisation. It also includes plans for social and economic development, ecological security, science and technology and international cooperation. With climate change making the region increasingly accessible we support continuing dialogue on this issue between Russia, US, Canada, Denmark and Norway, through the Arctic Council and other international institutions and within international law, most significantly the UN convention on the law of the sea, which provides the framework for the delineation of the Arctic continental shelf.