Russia said today it would not automatically renew a 20-year disarmament agreement with the United States when it expires next year, the Washington Post reported.
The 1992 Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which was initiated by US Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar, was set up to help Russia and former Soviet republics dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
“We have received an American proposal on extending the 1992 Agreement, which is due to expire in June 2013,” foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was quoted by Rianovosti as saying.
“Our American partners know that their proposal is at odds with our ideas about the forms and basis for building further cooperation in that area.
“A more modern legal framework” is needed for such interaction.
The Guardian said the program has helped “contain the potential spread of dangerous material abroad.”
With the help of billions of dollars in US equipment and expertise, 7,600 nuclear warheads have been deactivated, more than 900 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 33 submarines destroyed and two dozen nuclear weapons storage sites secured, the Washington Post reported.
But the Associated Press said senior officials in the Russian military have long complained that the program gave the United States “too much access and information” about the country’s military capabilities.
Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained recently, Reuters reported.
Last month, Russia closed the office of the US Agency for International Development in Moscow, ending 20 years of work in the country.
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And in March, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney described Russia as the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe.”