HC Deb 23 April 1998 vol 310 cc682-3W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aspects of the support her Department gives under the(a) Tacis, (b) Phare and (c) other assistance programmes to Eastern European and former states of the Soviet Union, are aimed at combating the smuggling of nuclear materials from these countries to (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) the EU. [38724]

Clare Short

The Phare and Tacis programmes (to which we contributed about 14.6 per cent. of their total expenditure of 1,750 mecu in 1997) contain nuclear safety programmes which have been used to provide advice to countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia on the safe handling and storage of nuclear materials, including specific provision of a nuclear materials accountancy system in the region. Assistance from Phare and Tacis has also helped to improve border controls in the region, and should have had an indirect effect on smuggling of nuclear materials into the EU. Other multilateral institutions, such as the EBRD, to whom we contribute, have some activities in the nuclear safety sector; details are not immediately available to us. Assistance in this sector is not a priority for my Department's bilateral programme of technical assistance.