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Lords Committee hears evidence on Russia’s military strategy towards the Arctic

Tuesday 2 May, 2023

Tomorrow, Wednesday 3 May the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will hold an evidence session examining Russia’s approach to the Arctic, including its military posture in the region, and how the UK and NATO should best respond.

The session will start at 11.30am and will be available to watch live or on demand on Parliament TV, or attend in person in Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster.

Giving evidence will be:

  • Katarzyna Zysk, Professor of International Relations and Contemporary History, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies;
  • Mathieu Boulègue, Consulting Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House and Global Fellow, Polar Institute, the Wilson Center; and
  • Nick Childs, Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security, International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Questions for discussion will include:

  • What place does the Arctic have in the Russian government’s strategic and military thinking? What is distinctive about the way Russian military and government policymakers think about the Arctic compared with other Arctic states?
  • What has been the focus of Russian military and economic development in the Arctic over the past 15 years? Senior Russian figures have repeatedly said that Russia’s Arctic military modernisation is purely defensive – is this credible?
  • How do you assess Russia’s Arctic military capabilities? How has the war in Ukraine affected Russia’s Arctic capabilities, and Russia’s ability to invest in the further militarisation of the Arctic?
  • Given the current state of Russia-NATO relations, can and should the other Arctic states still seek cooperation on some Arctic issues with Russia, and deconfliction activities to reduce the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding?
  • What contribution can the UK play in defence and deterrence in the Arctic and how can it best support its Arctic-state allies? What capability do the US, UK, and other NATO states have to project forces forward into the European Arctic in the event of conflict and what additional capabilities do they need to invest in?

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