HELSINKI, 31 Oct. 2009. U.S. Ambassador Bruce J. Oreck and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Pertti Torstila have signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" through which the Government of Finland will contribute funding to a U.S.-led program to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Finland's contribution will be used to provide radiation detection equipment to the Kyrgyz Republic to detect and deter nuclear smuggling across its international borders.
The project with the Kyrgyz Republic is part of the United States' Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative (NSOI) to assist particularly vulnerable countries to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials.
Five countries currently receive assistance through the NSOI: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Armenia. Tajikistan will be the next country to join the program. With its contribution, Finland joins eight other governments providing funding for the U.S-coordinated program.
The Finnish contribution is part of Finland's Global Partnership commitment. The purpose of the G8 Global Partnership is to support the prevention of the spread of WMD, disarmament, counterterrorism, and improvements in nuclear safety in the former Soviet Union.
Non-G8 financiers have been invited to join the project. This project is also financed from outside the G8. 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 been given to Russia and the Ukraine for improving nuclear safety and for the demilitarization of Russian chemical weapons, says a representative.
More information about the Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative and the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration's Second Line of Defense Program can be found online at www.nsoi-state.net and http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/news/2299.htm, respectively.