§ Dr. Julian Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the present state of negotiations is between the United Kingdom and Romania for the sale of HMS Coventry and HMS London in return for Romanian military equipment; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Ingram
Following detailed negotiations, the Acquisition Agreement between the United Kingdom and Romania for the sale of ex-HMS Coventry and ex-HMS London (regenerated and updated) was signed on 19 December 2002 (and countersigned in January 2003). A 'Back to Back' contract between the MOD and BAE Systems was signed on 20 March 2003, permitting the Acquisition Agreement to become effective on 26 March 2003. Subsequently, the regeneration package has been refined and a suite of alterations and additions to the original design has been developed. The parameters of the offset programme were agreed in the negotiations leading up to the Acquisition Agreement.
The disposal of these ships is not in exchange for Romanian military equipment. The agreed price will be paid in pounds sterling. Payments will be made in accordance with an agreed schedule of milestones.