Putin suspends US-Russia plutonium disposal agreement

October 3, 2016

This morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a presidential decree suspending an early post-Cold War agreement that bound the United States and the Russian Federation to destroy military stockpiles of plutonium deemed no longer necessary.


Although suspending the agreement– and its subsequent amendments– is not shocking given the deteriorated state of US-Russia relations, “what is surprising is the extremely harsh language used to justify the decision,” said CNS Director William Potter, referring specifically to the decree’s reference “to the threat to strategic stability posed by the hostile actions of the US against Russia.”


CNS Senior Fellow Miles A. Pomper added: “Putin himself made clear it has to do with US-EU sanctions, NATO conventional moves, etc. The Syria situation probably served as the tipping point. It’s designed to try to split the US from its allies.”


The plutonium agreement was the last post-Soviet cooperation agreement dealing with the elimination of the fissile materials from weapons programs that had remained in effect between the two countries since Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine. “It is unfortunate and short-sighted that the proliferation and security benefits of getting rid of dangerous weapon-useable materials has fallen victim to the political tensions between the two countries,” said Elena Sokova, CNS Deputy Director.


The following CNS experts are available for comment:

William Potter, Founder & Director ⋅ [email protected]

Elena Sokova, Deputy Director
Monterey, CA ⋅ 831.647.3086 ⋅ [email protected]@esokova

Nikolai Sokov, Senior Fellow
Monterey, CA ⋅ 831.647.6577 ⋅ [email protected]

Miles Pomper, Senior Fellow
Washington DC ⋅ 202.842.3100 x318 ⋅ [email protected]@MilesPomper

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