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Russian statement on the recall of the US-Russia nuclear cooperation agreement, 9 September 2008

PRESS RELEASE On the Recall of the Russian-American Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement from the US Congress, Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 9 September 2008.

We regard the decision of US President George W. Bush to recall from Congress the submitted-for-ratification Russian-American civil nuclear cooperation agreement as erroneous and politicized. We are also puzzled by the timing of the announcement of this decision.

This step of the US administration deserves regret. It runs counter to the accord reached during the April meeting between the Russian and US Presidents at Sochi on a strategic framework for our relationship and, in particular, on the soonest enactment of this agreement. The sides then characterized it as "crucially important for Russian-US cooperation under bilateral programs and initiatives in the field of the peaceful use of nuclear energy."

It is obvious that the recall of this agreement from the US Congress will be interpreted as a "penalty" or "restriction" for Russia. To us such interpretations are unconvincing, as are the explanations along the lines that this "minimizes the damage" which could increase had the administration decided not to recall the agreement from Congress. The civil nuclear cooperation agreement is equally advantageous to both Russia and the United States, and therefore owing to its recall America's nuclear industry will suffer no less than Russia's.

We regard the actions of the US administration as an explicit breach of the commitments assumed by it, which deals a blow to our partner interaction and closes the road to mutually advantageous bilateral cooperation on many issues in the field of the peaceful atom.

We consider the attempts of Washington to impose on other countries its logic of action as a behavioral model in relations with Russia unacceptable likewise.

Source: Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, www.russianembassy.org.

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