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Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the agreement reached with the US and Russia in respect of military environmental co-operation in the Arctic. [122667]

[holding answer 30 June 2003]: The United Kingdom formally joined the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC) Programme at a ceremony last week (26 June) together with the other AMEC partner countries, Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States.The UK, in cooperation with these partners, will implement practical nuclear clean-up projects focused on naval bases in the north-west region of Russia. Initial UK project plans include submarine dismantling and the design and procurement of submarine float pontoons. AMEC will provide the UK with valuable defence diplomacy and environmental clean-up opportunities within Russia and working with the Russian navy.I am able to confirm that the management of these projects will be undertaken by the Department for Trade and Industry as this forms part of the cross-Government approach to issues such as nuclear safety.