Threat Reduction Program Must be Updated, Russia Says

Russia is open to continued cooperation with the United States on the secure elimination of Soviet-era unconventional weapons so long as it takes place under a modernized bilateral agreement, Interfax reported on Tuesday.

The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction accord since 1991 has provided considerable U.S. financial and technical assistance for disposal of Cold War nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The Russian-U.S. cooperation accord is due to expire in June; Moscow has said it does not want to renew the agreement under its existing format, which the Kremlin views as intrusive and unbalanced.

“Russia’s position on this is well-known: in the future we would like to build relevant interaction with Washington on a different and more modern contractual basis,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in an interview.

“We are interested in continuing mutually beneficial cooperation both bilaterally and in a broader format involving third countries within the framework of the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction,” the spokesman continued.

Rose Gottemoeller, the U.S. State Department's top arms control official, is expected to discuss the matter in upcomng talks in Moscow.

February 6, 2013
About

Russia is open to continued cooperation with the United States on the secure elimination of Soviet-era unconventional weapons so long as it takes place under a modernized bilateral agreement, Interfax reported on Tuesday.