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Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Gilbert: Her Majesty's Government have provided equipment only for members of HM Forces.

Kosovo: UK Sorties

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Gilbert: NATO Secretary General Solana announced the termination of the NATO air campaign on 20 June. By that date UK aircraft had flown 1,659 operational sorties.

BOWMAN Communication System

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Gilbert: On current plans, BOWMAN is due to enter service in March 2002, with a total programme cost of about £2.8 billion.

Nuclear Policy

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Gilbert: I refer the noble Lord to Chapter 4, and particularly paragraphs 64, 67 and 70, of the White Paper The Strategic Defence Review (Cm 3999) and also to the Strategic Defence Review's Supporting Essay Five, particularly paragraphs 5, 9, 10 and 14. Copies are available in the Library of the House. The content of the briefing paper to which the noble Lord refers is not a matter for Her Majesty's Government.

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Strategic Defence Review of July 1998 included the retention of (a) the option to use nuclear weapons first; and (b) the option to use nuclear weapons in a sub-strategic role as a warning shot across the bows of a potential aggressor, as stated in the CND parliamentary briefing paper of 1 June.[HL3133]

Lord Gilbert: In conducting the Strategic Defence Review, the Government concluded that a policy of No First Use of nuclear weapons would be incompatible with our and NATO's doctrine of deterrence, and that it would not further nuclear disarmament. The Strategic Defence Review confirmed that, in addition to its strategic deterrent role, Trident would also perform the sub-strategic nuclear role formerly assigned to RAF Tornado aircraft. A sub-strategic element is an essential component of a nuclear deterrent policy. In extreme circumstances of self defence, a capability for the more limited use of nuclear weapons would allow us to signal to an aggressor that he has miscalculated our resolve, without using the full destructive power that Trident offers. The content of the briefing paper to which the noble Lord refers is not a matter for Her Majesty's Government.

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Serbia: Civilian Casualties

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, alongside the lists of military personnel, equipment and installations that were attacked and/or destroyed during the air war against Serbia which they have already published, they will publish, or otherwise make available, lists of the non-military targets attacked and destroyed (distinguishing between those intentionally hit and those not).[HL2989]

Lord Gilbert: NATO targeted only militarily-related objectives during the recent air campaign against Serbia. There were, however, a few occasions during the campaign when the wrong sites were hit and damaged, and civilian deaths were a regrettable consequence. NATO has been open and honest about these tragic accidents, details of which are already in the public domain.

Kosovo: Russian Participation

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was their reaction to the news of 7 June of Russian concern about NATO's military plans for Kosovo, which had been articulated without Russian participation.[HL3070]

Lord Gilbert: NATO and Her Majesty's Government have consistently sought Russian participation in the international peacekeeping force in Kosovo and welcome the recently negotiated agreement on Russian participation in KFOR. NATO and Russia have worked together successfully in the past in Bosnia, and we look forward to further co-operation in Kosovo.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much of the discussion about Russia's role in Kosovo is being conducted bilaterally between the United States and Russia and how much between the participants in the Kosovo operation collectively and Russia.[HL3071]

Lord Gilbert: The arrangements for Russian participation approved by the North Atlantic Council on 21 June were negotiated between Russian and US representatives in Helsinki. NATO officials were present. These negotiations were preceded by a wide range of discussions about Russia's role in KFOR, both among NATO members and between individual member states and Russia. In addition, discussions took place in theatre between the Commander KFOR and the Commander of the Russian force at Pristina airfield over the arrangements governing the integration of the force. Subsequent consultations between NATO and Russia on Kosovo will be carried out through the Permanent Joint Council. Copies of the agreement on Russia's participation in KFOR will be placed in the Library of the House.

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Yugoslavia: NATO Strategy

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by Lord Gilbert on 14 June (WA5-6), whether NATO (a) has a common understanding of international law; (b) follows common criteria in terms of which to define legitimate targets; (c) shares information about targets (such as might have prevented the bombings of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade); and if so, to what

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    extent NATO strategy against Yugoslavia was a joint strategy.[HL3072]

Lord Gilbert: NATO operations in Yugoslavia have been based on collective decisions taken by the North Atlantic Council. SACEUR is responsible for the selection of targets within the authority delegated to him by the Council. Arrangements exist within NATO to ensure that decisions on targeting are consistent and that advice on international law bearing upon such decisions is available and that nations have an opportunity to contribute information relevant to target selection.

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