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Lawmaker assumes freeze on RD-180 rocket engine supplies to US may follow

October 06, 2016, 15:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The official described suspension of the plutonium deal as an "absolutely justified measure"

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© Alexei Filippov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/. Russia may freeze the export of RD-180 rocket engines, as well as components for high-tech industries to the United States in retaliation for unfriendly policies, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma’s economic policy and industry committee, Vladimir Gutenev, has suggested.

"Our further steps will depend on how our opponents will go about the business of their foreign policy towards Russia. I cannot rule out that if the unfriendly policies continue, the delivery of RD-180 rocket engines and certain components that the United States uses in high-tech industries may be paused for a while," Gutenev told TASS about the Russian leadership’s decision to freeze agreements with the United States on the disposal of weapons grade plutonium and cooperation in the nuclear sphere.

Gutenev described as an "absolutely justified measure" the suspension of the "plutonium deal" and the joint research programs in nuclear power.

"We were acting in the capacity of intellectual donors… But the outspokenly unfriendly policy has brought about a situation in which such joint research is fraught with potential harm to our national security," he said.

Gutenev said that "in both cases agreements are paused, and not suspended."

"We are not interested in sanctions or counter-sanctions. We believe that cooperation, both industrial and scientific, merely enhances the competitiveness of national economies. The retaliatory measures that the Russian leadership has been taking are absolutely legitimate, because national security is at stake," he pointed out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 3 signed a decree to suspend the plutonium disposal agreement with the United States. A relevant bill has been submitted to the State Duma for approval. And on October 5 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued an instruction to freeze the Russian-US agreement in nuclear and energy research and development.

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