“I believe that this issue today is especially important not only for Russia and Norway but for the whole Europe as well,” emphasised Mr. Jagland, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Murmansk before he embarked to Moscow.
Mr. Jagland also said that “he had already raised these questions” at the meetings with U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Allbrightt and EU representatives, and on Thursday “will discuss that with Igor Ivanov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
Mr. Jagland stressed the importance of multilateral and trilateral cooperation in the northern Russia. He also added that “bureaucratic, administrative and political problems” were the roadblocks which “should be eliminated”, and participation of the United States is “one of the necessary conditions for solving this [submarine decommissioning] problem”.
Commenting on the results in the Nikitin trial, Mr. Jagland said that the end of Nikitin case would strengthen the environmental activity of the Norwegian side in Russia. He also underlined that Nikitin’s acquittal “is very important for Russia as a state with the rule of law.”
Alexander Nikitin, the employee of environmental foundation Bellona, was charged with high treason and disclosure of state secrets for writing a report about radioactive waste hazards in the Russian Northern Fleet.
On December 29, 1999, the City Court of St. Petersburg acquitted Nikitin. This verdict was reaffirmed by the Russian Supreme Court on April 17, 2000.