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Putin calls on US to observe agreements for weapons-grade plutonium

April 07, 2016, 17:25 UTC+3

the United States has recently suggested eliminating the produced highly-enriched nuclear fuel by a different method than the one on agreed with Russia

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© AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

ST.PETERSBURG, April 7 /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of non-compliance with agreements for disposing of weapons-grade plutonium.

"Early in the 2000s, we and the Americans agreed to get rid of weapons-grade plutonium, the excessive amounts of weapons-grade plutonium, so to speak, which both the US and our plants have accumulated. It is that highly-enriched fissionable material, which is used for making nuclear weapons - 34 tonnes on both sides," the Russian head of state said at the III Truth and Justice regional and local media forum on Thursday.

After signing the relevant agreement, the sides agreed that an industrial method should be used to get rid of that material.

"For that purpose, special enterprises should be built. Unlike our US partners, we have met our commitments and have built those plants," the Russian leader stressed adding it was necessary to think how to deal with this situation.

According to Putin, the United States has recently suggested eliminating the produced highly-enriched nuclear fuel by a different method - not by the one on which the Russian and American sides agreed when they were signing the agreement.

"It suggested blending nuclear fuel and then utilizing it in special storage tanks. It means that the United States wants to retain its breakout potential, which means a possibility of extracting and processing [the highly-enriched nuclear fuel] and turning it into weapons-grade plutonium again," Putin explained.

"This is not what we agreed on. Now we should think what to do about that and how to react," the Russian president warned.

"Apparently, it’s going to be another irritant, which will cause a relevant reaction and trigger a search for new offshores," Putin said.

"Our partners should understand that fun is fun: their efforts to promote information products directed against Russia is one thing but serious matters, especially those concerning nuclear weapons, is something totally different," Putin said.

"One should be able to meet the undertaken commitments," the Russian head of state stressed.

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