Press Releases, 3/24/2011
U.S. and Finland to continue their cooperation in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
Press release 106/2011
On March 24th in Helsinki, Finland and the United States signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” through which they will continue their cooperation in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Kyrgyz Republic. Finland’s contribution to the U.S.-led program will be used to provide radiation detection equipment to the Kyrgyz Republic to detect and deter nuclear smuggling across its international borders. Finland previously provided funding to the project in 2010.
The project with the Kyrgyz Republic is part the United States’ Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative (NSOI), which assists particularly vulnerable countries in preventing the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials. Six countries currently receive assistance through the program: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Armenia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Finland is one of thirteen partners providing funding for the program.
The Finnish contribution is part of Finland’s Global Partnership commitment. The purpose of the G-8 Global Partnership is to support the prevention of the spread of WMD, disarmament and improvements in bio and nuclear security. Partnership activities which originally focused on the former Soviet Union are gaining a wider geographic and thematic spread.
Non-G8 financiers have been invited to join the program. Finland is committed to supporting the Global Partnership from 2004-2014 in the amount of 10-15 million Euros. For the time being, support has focused on improving nuclear safety and securing of nuclear material in Russia and Ukraine as well as on the destruction of Russian chemical weapons stockpiles.
For more information, please contact Heikki Hietala, Unit for Arms Control, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, tel. +358 (0)9 160 56030, or Jeff Arnold, U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, tel. +358 (0)9 616 25468.
Further information on the Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative is available at www.nsoi-state.net