Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law to suspend agreements with the U.S. on plutonium disposition, adopted earlier by the state Duma deputies to the applause. On 3 October the draft law on the personal initiative was submitted for consideration to the lower house of Parliament.
The other day at the plenary session of international discussion club “Valdai” in Sochi Putin stressed that “the conditions for the destruction of weapons-grade plutonium, which broke USA, is a very serious issue in the field of international security and handling of nuclear materials” (quoted by “Interfax”).
That is the problem of destruction of weapons-grade plutonium, the head of state cited as an example, mention the unscrupulous attitude of the US to commitments. He recalled that in accordance with the contract, Russia built the plant and industrially destroys surplus weapons-grade plutonium, and the United States went the other way.
“That announced the United States, and unilaterally, does his actions with us not agreeing, saying that they will dilute this weapons-grade plutonium, stored in some layers… It’s called return potential at any moment to enrich and to return again into the hole, as they say. But we destroy it”, – said Putin.
Putin in the Duma introduced a bill on the suspension of the agreement with the US on plutonium disposition, which sets out the terms of the renewal agreements. The agreement with the US was signed on 29 August 2000. The agreement provided for the disposal of excess weapons-grade plutonium in Russia and the United States, in particular through the production of mixed oxide fuel use in nuclear power reactors, translation into forms suitable for the creation of weapons and burial.
According to the bill Russia will renew the agreement, subject to certain conditions from the United States. In particular, Moscow could return to the performance of the agreement under the cancellation of Washington’s “Magnitsky act”, in the case of the repeal of all anti-Russian sanctions and providing compensation for them, as well as with the reduction of military infrastructure in NATO countries.
On 5 October the government also announced the decision to suspend the agreement with the USA on cooperation in scientific research and development in nuclear and energy spheres. The document was signed on 16 September 2013 in Vienna. The agreement defined the areas of scientific and technical cooperation in the field of use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, including nuclear safety, designing of nuclear power plants, innovative types of reactor fuel, the use of nuclear and radiation technologies in medicine and industry, the management of radioactive waste.
The government introduced this step as a countermeasure in response to U.S. sanctions in connection with the situation in Ukraine, including suspension of Russian-American cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. Why retaliatory steps began to take only two years, the government has not explained.
In the US since unfortunately reacted to the decision of Russia. State Department spokesman mark Toner called the termination “a real tragedy” as the two countries ‘ cooperation in the nuclear field was successful.
The so-called “Magnitsky act” was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in December 2012. The document provides for sanctions against several Russian officials including law enforcement officers involved, according to Washington, the death of Sergei Magnitsky.
The US imposed sanctions against Russia – personal, and then targeting companies and sectors of the economy in 2014, after the annexation of Crimea to Russia, which in the West continue to consider the annexation. The sanctions, which was supported by the EU, has been repeatedly extended. In response Russia has imposed a ban on imports of several categories of goods from countries declared sanctions. In September 2016, US Department of Commerce has expanded the sectoral sanctions against Russia, adding to the black list of 80 Russian companies.
The agreement on plutonium disposition with the US was signed on 29 August 2000. It was assumed that each of the parties in 2018 will begin to eliminate the “declassified” inventory of plutonium in the amount of 34 tons.