‘Norway and the US have a long history of cooperating on nuclear non-proliferation. The memorandum of understanding we have now signed in the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC will in practice strengthen ongoing Norwegian efforts to assist Ukraine in securing its radioactive material and preventing it from falling into the wrong hands,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

The memorandum Norway and the US have now signed on nuclear non-proliferation cooperation and nuclear security is designed to make it easier to identify, secure and remove nuclear material and to counter illicit trafficking across national borders.

The new MoU will further strengthen Norway’s close cooperation with the US in this area, and supplements the 2014 MoU entered into with the US Department of Energy. The new agreement, which is global in scope,  will make it possible for Norway to strengthen the capability of the Ukrainian authorities to secure radioactive material and prevent illicit trafficking.

‘It is in Norway’s interest to provide assistance to Ukraine, together with our close allies,’ said Ms Solberg. In addition to joint projects with the US, Norway is participating in several large-scale nuclear safety projects through bilateral cooperation with the authorities in Ukraine, through international initiatives and in trilateral cooperation with Ukraine and Sweden.

Our nuclear security cooperation with Ukraine is a result of Prime Minister Solberg’s announcement at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in March 2014 that Norway would strengthen cooperation with the US on nuclear non-proliferation. Norway provides funding for this cooperation through its Nuclear Action Plan.

Expert meetings were held between Norwegian authorities and the US Department of State in connection with the Washington summit to agree on specific projects for cooperation.

‘We have a joint responsibility to continue to develop international nuclear non-proliferation cooperation and to prevent nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands. This agreement will strengthen our partnership with the US on non-proliferation of nuclear material. One of its aims is to prevent nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands and from being used for terrorist purposes,’ Ms Solberg said.

The agreement was signed on 31 March by Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr Kåre R. Aas, and US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman.