Sunday, July 15, 2007

Analysis of U.S.-Russian Statements on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy

The Center’s Leonor Tomero released her Analysis of US-Russian Statements on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy on Friday.

Tomero begins:

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited President George W. Bush at Kennebunkport, Maine, to emphasize areas of agreement and cooperation between the United States and Russia. Presidents Bush and Putin indicated their intent to move toward signing a US-Russian bilateral agreement for cooperation on nuclear energy, and to cooperate on a new framework to provide nuclear energy assistance to other countries. During Putin’s visit, the United States and Russia also stated their intent to continue discussing nuclear weapons reductions.

Included below are her summaries of the areas of agreement between the two countries. Tomero’s full analysis also includes sections on timing, nonproliferation, and Congressional issues.

Nuclear Weapons Reductions

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterpart Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov issued a brief joint statement on July 3, 2007 indicating that both sides would continue to discuss how to address the expiration of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), but their joint statement lacked any new information and reflected persistent disagreements between the two countries on the specifics of a follow-on or extension to START. The statement merely indicated that both sides were discussing the issue, but differences between both sides remain.

US-Russian Bilateral Agreement on Nuclear Energy (123 Agreement)

The United States and Russia are moving toward signing a 123 agreement (implementation agreement) to codify and facilitate US-Russia bilateral cooperation on nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy initiative to provide nuclear fuel services to other countries

Presidents Bush and Putin also stated their intent to cooperate on facilitating the expansion of nuclear energy “in particular to developing countries, provided the common goal of prevention of nuclear weapons is achieved” by creating “a viable alternative [for these countries] to the acquisition of sensitive fuel cycle technologies.” These efforts “build on, reinforce, and complement a range of existing activities,” such as the US Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and the Russian international fuel center. They include a wide range of assistance including: providing reactors; providing infrastructure, and facilitating regulatory support and contract negotiations; developing measures related to the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste; supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency; and providing reliable nuclear fuel supply.

Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

The discussion during the Summit mentioned briefly, but did not focus on, threat reduction issues.

The complete analysis of the US-Russian statements by Tomero can be found here.

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