October 6, 2016 - 11:20 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia further curtailed its cooperation with the United States in nuclear energy on Wednesday, October 5 suspending a research agreement and terminating one on uranium conversion, two days after the Kremlin shelved a plutonium pact with Washington, Reuters reports.
The Russian government said that as counter-measures to the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, it was putting aside a nuclear and energy-related research pact with the United States.
It also said it was terminating for the same reasons an agreement between its nuclear corporation Rosatom and the U.S. Department of Energy on feasibility studies into conversion of Russian research reactors to low-enriched uranium.
On Monday, President Vladimir Putin suspended a treaty with Washington on cleaning up weapons grade plutonium, signaling he is willing to use nuclear disarmament as a new bargaining chip in disputes with the United States over Ukraine and Syria.
"The regular renewal of sanctions against Russia, which include the suspension of Russian-American cooperation in the field of nuclear energy demands the adoption of countermeasures against the U.S. side," the Russian government said on its website.
In Washington, a State Department spokesman said the United States had not received an official notification from Russia although he had seen media reports of the suspension of the research agreement.
"If they're accurate, we would regret the Russian decision to unilaterally suspend cooperation on what we believe is a very important issue that's in the interest of both of our countries," spokesman Mark Toner said at a daily news briefing.