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Russia to return to plutonium disposition agreement with US when relations normalize

April 25, 0:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian-US Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement was signed in 2000 and frozen after US failed to fulfill its part of the deal

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Russian Foreign Ministry building

Russian Foreign Ministry building

© Gennady Khamelyanin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Russia will be ready to return to the Russian-US Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement only after Washington repairs the damage done to bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"We confirm our readiness to return to implementation of the Agreement. However, this can be done only after Washington repairs the damage done to Russian-US relations by the US administration’s irresponsible actions and after it returns to compliance with previous agreements on plutonium disposal," the ministry said, commenting on the US Department of State’s 2017 Report on Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments.

"The Russian Federation made the decision to freeze the agreement in full correspondence with norms of the international law. The US administration has to realize that in the modern world it is impossible to keep cooperation in profitable areas while at the same time do harm to partners in other spheres," the ministry said.

The Russian-US Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement was signed in 2000 and amended in 2010. Under the amended treaty, the sides were to dispose of 34 tons of plutonium by converting non-essential plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear power plants. To that end, the sides were to build facilities to produce MOX fuel.

Moscow fulfilled its part of the deal. However, the US has de-facto froze the construction of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) on the Savannah River Site citing financial reasons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed at the US non-compliance in April 2016. In December 2016, he signed a decree to freeze that agreement.

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