Norwegian co-chair of AMEC knocked out from Russia

The AMEC logo with two of its founding partners crossed out.

Publish date: February 7, 2007

Norwegian co-chair of the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC) program was declared unwanted in Russia today and ordered home right after she had landed in Moscow airport.

Ingjerd Kroken, co-chair of the Norwegian AMEC, was a part of official Norwegian delegation on its way to Moscow to discuss the progress in a nuclear submarine decommissioning project sponsored by Norway. But she did not make it through the airport boarder control. She was declared unwanted in the Russian Federation and turned back home. Neither the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, nor the Norwegian Defence Ministry wanted to comment on the case at the time of writing.

Establised in 1996, AMEC was—until the 2003 joining of the United Kingdom (UK)—a three country consortium created by the respective defense agencies of the United States, Russia and Norway in order to address military-related environmental problems, primarily submarine dismantlement, in the fragile Arctic ecosystem.

AMEC has long been seen as the environmental wing of the US Cooprative Threat Reduction (CTR) programme and was formed to address clean up issues of waste that was being left behind by the United States’ and other nations’ nuclear remediation projects.

AMEC’s underlying philosophy was that it should be easier to discuss military environmental problems through a military co-operative effort than through civilian channels. The programme also emphasised the need to leave behind an infrastructure for Russia to use after US-led Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) and Norwegian programmes have come to an end.

Norway officially dropped out of the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC) project in 2006 to hold only the title of “observer” to the programme that had aided dozens of nuclear remediation projects in Northwest Russia.