MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/. Moscow regrets it has had to suspend the nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, but it was ineffective de facto anyway through the US fault, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Thursday.
"After the events in Crimea the United States in fact paused the operation of that treaty. Yesterday we just formalized a situation that had been created by our American counterparts," Peskov said.
"We regret we had to do that, but in reality the document did not work at the decision of the United States," he stated.
On October 5 two Russian government orders were signed - one suspending the agreement with the United States on research and development in the nuclear and energy spheres of September 16, 2013, and the other terminating the operation of the executive agreement of December 7, 2010 between the state-run corporation Rosatom and the US Department of Energy on cooperation in conducting research into the possibility of converting Russian research reactors to low-enriched uranium fuel.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia had terminated the executive agreement between the corporation Rosatom and the US Department of Energy in response to unfriendly steps and statements by the United States. At the same time Russia is determined to comply with all of the obligations assumed under that agreement.
"This step follows the notification received from the United States in 2014 it was discontinuing cooperation with Russia in the field of nuclear power and also other unfriendly steps and statements by the United States," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "At the same time Russia is going to fulfill all of its previously assumed obligations under that agreement, including the works under all previously concluded contracts."
The Foreign Ministry said that in view of the United States’ decision to end cooperation with Russia in the field of civil nuclear power Russia cannot afford "to trust Washington in such a sensitive sphere as upgrade and safety of Russian reactors." If a decision is made in Russia it is feasible to readjust some research reactors to using low-enriched nuclear fuel, all related works will be carried out independently, the Foreign Ministry said.
"We believe that the conversion of nuclear reactors from highly-enriched uranium fuel to low-enriched uranium fuel in the Non-Proliferation Treaty member-countries is not the ultimate purpose. In a number of cases, for instance, in the production of medical isotopes, highly enriched uranium is more effective and a stop to using it is technically and economically not feasible," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The nuclear power corporation Rosatom said that Russia had complied with all of its obligations to low-enriched uranium. Rosatom’s spokesman said US partners had taken not a single specific step under the agreement on military-technical cooperation due to the imposed regime of sanctions.