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Top lawmaker: Russia's law to suspend plutonium agreement with US to be passed as priority

October 04, 16:09 UTC+3 MURMANSK
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a bill on suspending the agreement with the United States on disposal of redundant plutonium
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Valentina Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko

© Federation Council press service/TASS

MURMANSK, October 4. /TASS/. The speaker of the Russian Federation Council upper house believes the law to suspend the plutonium disposal agreement with the US will be passed on a priority basis.

"I believe that as soon as the Duma starts its work, the bill will be submitted (for consideration) among priority bills, and then will go to the Federation Council," Valentina Matviyenko told reporters on Tuesday.

"All arguments are in favor of the law to be passed," she said.

Matviyenko said Russia had met all the commitments it assumed in the issue of plutonium disposal, "it was moving clearly within the framework of the agreement," while the US "for no reason at all decided to change the approach - not to dispose of plutonium, destroying it so that it could not be used in the future, but they changed the concept - (decided) to dispose of it by burying it, and this means conservation of plutonium, a possibility to once again withdraw it and use for the production of we know what kind of weapons," Matviyenko added.

"Why should Russia unilaterally fully comply with the signed agreement when it is absolutely ignored by the US?" she asked. The speaker believes bringing in the bill is "absolutely reasonable". "We don’t want to be deceived, to lose, losing our potentials while our partners will preserve them. This is inadmissible, impossible," the parliamentarian said.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a bill on suspending the agreement with the United States on disposal of redundant plutonium. The bill lists conditions on which the agreement could be resumed, including cancellation of the so-called Magnitsky Act, lifting of all anti-Russian sanctions with compensation of the damage, as well as reduction of US military infrastructure in NATO countries.

Putin ordered suspension of the plutonium disposal agreement with the United States over Washington’s unfriendly actions towards Russia.

"In connection with a fundamental change of the circumstances and the emergence of a threat to strategic stability as a result of unfriendly actions by the United States towards Russia and the United States’ inability to ensure compliance with the assumed commitments to utilizing excessive weapons grade plutonium under international treaties and also proceeding from the need for urgent measures to protect the security of Russia" the Russian president ordered suspension of the agreement between the governments of Russia and the United States concerning the utilization of plutonium that has been declared as plutonium no longer necessary for defense purposes, its handling and cooperation in that field, the decree runs.

The agreement with the United States was signed on August 29, 2000. It envisaged ways of disposing of excessive weapons grade plutonium in Russia and the United States, including the production of mixed oxide fuel to be used in nuclear power reactors, conversion into non-weapons-grade form and also burial. It was expected that either side will start eliminating "declassified" amounts of plutonium in an amount of 34 tonnes. Russia converts weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear power plants.

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