HL Deb 06 February 1979 vol 398 cc680-1WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Now that it is agreed, even by Warsaw Pact States, that the Soviet aircraft carrier "Kiev" is an aircraft carrier, that other aircraft carriers are being built by the Soviet Union in the Black Sea, and that the Montreux Convention specifically forbids the passage of aircraft carriers through the straits from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean, what discussions the Government have held, or are proposing to hold, with other signatories of the Montreux Convention, and particularly with the Soviet Government, about its apparent intention to breach once again the conditions of one of the world's oldest arms control agreements.


Her Majesty's Government have had no recent discussions on the matter. It remains Her Majesty's Government's view that the passage of the "Kiev" and similar ships through the straits is not compatible with the Montreux Convention. The Soviet authorities are aware of this view, which is also known to other signatories of the Convention. However, Her Majesty's Government's views are not shared by some of the other Governments concerned, in particular the Turkish Government.