Joint Statement: United States and Norway Sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Support Cooperation on Nuclear Material Security and Counter Nuclear Smuggling

Joint Statement
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 31, 2016

Today Assistant Secretary Thomas Countryman of the U.S. Department of State and the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States Kåre R. Aas strengthened their countries’ partnership to counter nuclear terrorism by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between their ministries.

Supporting the Nuclear Security Summit held this week, the MOU expresses the intention of the two governments to cooperate with each other to protect at-risk nuclear and other radioactive materials and to counter illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials in countries around the world. To advance this goal, the MOU allows for Norway and the United States to collaborate on specific projects such as an effort to strengthen Ukraine’s capabilities to respond to a nuclear smuggling incident through effective inter-ministerial coordination, criminal investigations, and prosecutions of nuclear or radioactive material smugglers. The MOU will also allow for collaboration on a project supporting Ukraine’s ability to detect and interdict the trafficking of WMD and illicit goods along its maritime borders.

Norway is a strong leader in global disarmament and nonproliferation efforts. In 2015, Norway hosted the second plenary meeting of the International Partnership on Nuclear Disarmament Verification and served as Chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime. Through its participation in the Nuclear Security Summit and member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Norway continues to make valuable contributions to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.

Today’s signing reflects our common conviction that nuclear terrorism is a critical and ongoing threat that requires a coordinated, global response.