The article discusses how international cooperative projects have contributed to increased interaction between civilian authorities and the military or other power agencies in Murmansk Oblast. The cases of fisheries enforcement, nuclear safety and the fight against communicable diseases, especially tuberculosis in prisons, are reviewed. The main lesson is that international collaboration ventures can sometimes provide arenas for initiating new coordination patterns that would otherwise not have evolved. Occasionally, the international project is simply the pretext necessary for changing a situation that both civilian and power agencies view as irrational. Whether these changes are fundamental and structural, however, remains to be seen.