SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Russia has reportedly informed the United States that joint efforts to secure nuclear materials on the Russian territory cannot continue next year.
According to US officials, Sergey V. Kirienko, the head of Russia’s state nuclear company, has conveyed the message to senior Obama administration officials, The New York Timesreported on Thursday.
Russia and the United States are at loggerheads over Ukraine and a number of other issues. Washington accuses Moscow of orchestrating an “illegitimate referendum to annex Crimea” and fuelling unrest in eastern Ukraine.
Moscow has dismissed as “nonsense” claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in Ukraine.
It seems the new development is a byproduct of the downturn in relations between the two nuclear powers, but the Kremlin is also apparently concerned about American nuclear experts accessing its nuclear sites.
The joint effort began in 1991 amid fears that the collapse of the Soviet Union would make its nuclear weapons vulnerable.
Moscow also announced last week that it could boycott a 2016 security summit hosted by the US president.
“There is a real danger that 20 years of US-Russian cooperation to secure nuclear material will simply stop at the end of this year, and some of the gains we have made could slip away,” said Matthew Bunn, a Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
During the administration of Bill Clinton, Bunn supervised a secret government study on protecting nuclear materials in Russia.