MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. The State Duma lower house of parliament is expected to consider a draft law to suspend the Russian-US agreement on plutonium disposal next week, before October 14, a senior Duma parliamentarian told Tass on Monday.
"We will consider the issue at one of the next sessions, I think next week," said Leonid Slutsky, slated for head of the Duma committee for international affairs.
Earlier, Frants Klintsevich, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, said the bill proposed by President Vladimir Putin could be passed and approved by the parliament in October.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a bill on suspending the agreement with the United States on the disposal of redundant plutonium.
"The operation of the agreement on the utilization of plutonium, declared as plutonium no longer necessary for defense purposes, on its handling and on cooperation in that field shall be suspended," the bill runs.
The bill says "the decision on re-activating the agreement shall be made by the Russian president" and its operation may be resumed on the condition of a number of steps by the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has 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.