First Update; pages 889-892



Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Prevention of Pollution of the Environment of the Arctic, Moscow, 1994


Done at Moscow 16 December 1994
Entered into force 16 December 1994
Depositary: United Nations
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the U.S. Department of State



The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the Parties),

Recognizing the sensitivity of the Arctic environment and our mutual commitment to protect the Arctic environment and to promote the social and economic interests of local, especially indigenous populations, including their traditional way of life;

Concerned over the potential threats posed by contaminants in the Arctic region to the health of the indigenous and local populations of the region as well as to its flora and fauna;

Convinced that cooperation and sharing of experience between the Parties will contribute to understanding and effective response to any such threat both on a national basis and within broader international efforts to protect the Arctic environment;

Desiring to build upon the results of the American-Russian Summit held in Vancouver, April 3-4, 1993;

Noting the particular importance of relevant provisions of Part XII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982; the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter of 1972; and the provisions of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy of 1991;

Have agreed as follows:


Article 1

The Parties shall cooperate in the prevention, reduction and control of pollution in the Arctic marine and terrestrial environment resulting from the accidental or intentional introduction of contaminants into that environment.

To this end the Parties shall cooperate in research, monitoring, assessment and other activities, bilaterally and in the appropriate multilateral fora.

Article 2

1. The Parties shall cooperate in the conduct of scientific research, monitoring, and assessment activities to determine the potential impacts of contaminants in the Arctic environment, including, inter alia:

1) the pathways by which such contaminants reach and are dispersed within the Arctic environment;

2) the effects of such contaminants, including rates of bio-accumulation, upon Arctic flora and fauna, including fish populations; and

3) the effects of such contaminants upon human health in the Arctic environment, especially upon local and indigenous populations.

2. The Parties further shall cooperate in the monitoring and assessment of levels of hazardous contamination in the Arctic environment, including, inter alia:

1) exchange of data and information on the effects of disposal and release of such contaminants introduced directly or indirectly into the Arctic environment;

2) determination of the level, chemical composition, and patterns of such contamination caused by releases from sites at which materials have been stored, processed or disposed; and

3) determination of the amount, concentrations and dynamics of such contaminants introduced into the marine zone, including through rivers and other watercourses, natural or artificial, and via ice transport and ice rafted sediment.

3. The Parties shall consult with regard to technical solutions for the elimination of radioactive and other types of contamination impacts.

4. The Parties shall cooperate in the conduct of joint scientific research to predict ecological impacts of the existing disposals of radioactive waste and consult with regard to technical solutions for the elimination of disposals in places where ecological safety is not insured.

5. Cooperation between the Parties in scientific research and monitoring referred to in this Article shall take place bilaterally, and within the appropriate international, including regional, mechanisms, in particular the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy of 1991 and the International Arctic Seas Assessment Program of 1993 the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Article 3

1. Each Party shall facilitate joint activities under Article 2 in areas that are under its jurisdiction in accordance with international law and that are or are believed to be contaminated, under such reasonable conditions as it may establish.

2. The Parties shall ensure that the data and information resulting from such research and monitoring are exchanged and made freely available on a reciprocal basis.


Article 4

The Parties shall promote the development of specific measures to give effect to this Agreement, including:

1) programs for the exchange of scientists, students and experts; 2) organization of seminars and meetings of experts;

3) organization of joint research activities, including marine scientific research cruises;

4) development of Geographic Information Systems, data bases and inventories on Arctic environmental data;

5) cooperation in emergency preparedness exercises and prompt exchange of information concerning major accidental releases of contaminants into the Arctic environment; and

6) exchange of information on technologies and assessment methodologies applicable within the framework of this Agreement and on the relevant environmental protection legislation and regulations.


Article 5

Activities under this Agreement, including specific projects and programs, shall be carried out by responsible agencies of each Party in accordance with the Agreement Between the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Government of the United States on Cooperation in Ocean Studies of 1990 and the Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Field of Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources of 1994 and under the overall coordination of the United States-Russian Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation or under any other coordinating body as may be agreed by the Parties.


Article 6

1. All activities undertaken pursuant to this Agreement shall be conducted in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations, and procedures in both countries and shall be subject to the availability of funds and personnel.

2. Scientific and technological information resulting from cooperation under this Agreement, other than information which is not disclosed for national security, commercial or industrial reasons, shall be made freely available, unless otherwise agreed.

3. Issues of intellectual property created or furnished in the course of joint activities under this Agreement shall be governed by Annex II of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation on Science and Technology Cooperation, signed at Moscow December 16, 1993.

Article 7

The Parties shall resolve by consultation any differences as to the interpretation or application of this Agreement.


Article 8

1. This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature and remain in force for a period of five years, and may be extended for additional five year periods upon written agreement of the Parties.

2. Either Party may terminate this Agreement by so notifying the other Party in writing. Such termination shall be effective six months from such written notification.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.

DONE at Moscow, in duplicate, this sixteenth day of December 1994, in the English and Russian languages, each text being equally authentic.