Members of European Parliament and Russian Duma Studying Radiation Safety in Murmansk Region

A working group of the Russia-EU parliamentary cooperation committee, headed by co-chairman Bart Staves, is due to arrive in Murmansk today. Russia is represented in the delegation by Duma deputies Valentin Luntsevich and Sergei Mitrokhin.

The initiator of the visit was the Norwegian environmental organisation Bellona. According to Andrei Zolotkov, the head of Bellona's Murmansk section, the parliamentarians intend to familiarize themselves with atomic and radiation safety in the Murmansk Region, which will enable them to act with greater understanding and responsibility when distributing money to Russia as part of the 10 plus 10 over 10 programme. The programme was set up at the G-8 summit in Canada with the aim of financing the destruction of weapons of mass destruction in the US and Europe.

In the Murmansk Region the delegation will visit the military garrison at Zaozersk and Andreev Bay, where they will inspect sites presenting a danger from radiation. They will also visit the Nerpa ship repair yard in Snezhnogorsk. On October 5 the deputies will acquaint themselves with the work of state firm Atomflot.

According to Zolotkov, the Russian side intends to use the visit to draw European attention to the problem of utilising first generation submarines.

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