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US/Russia Statement On Weapon-Grade Plutonium

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary (Moscow, Russia)

For Immediate Release June 4, 2000

JOINT STATEMENT CONCERNING MANAGEMENT AND DISPOSITION OF WEAPON-GRADE PLUTONIUM DESIGNATED AS NO LONGER REQUIRED FOR DEFENSE PURPOSES AND RELATED COOPERATION

The Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation announced today completion of the bilateral Agreement for the management and disposition of weapon-grade plutonium withdrawn from their respective nuclear weapon programs and declared excess to defense purposes. This Agreement will ensure that this plutonium will be changed into forms unusable for nuclear weapons by consumption as fuel in nuclear reactors or by immobilization rendering it suitable for geologic disposal.

Based on the 1998 Summit Joint Statement of Principles for Management and Disposition of Plutonium, this Agreement charts the course and sets the conditions for such activities. It reconfirms our determination to take steps necessary to ensure that it is never again used for nuclear weapons or any other military purpose and is managed and disposed in a way that is safe, secure, ecologically sound, transparent and irreversible. It reaffirms our commitment to nuclear disarmament.

This Agreement will ensure that the management and disposition activities are monitored and, thus, transparent for the international community. It provides for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification once appropriate agreements with the IAEA are concluded.

This Agreement builds on the approaches to such plutonium management and disposition agreed at the 1996 G-8 Moscow Nuclear Safety and Security Summit. We reaffirm our intentions to continue to work closely with other countries, in particular other G-8 leaders, who have provided strong support over past years for initiation and implementation of these programs. In this regard, we hope that significant progress will be made as well at the G-8 Summit this July in Okinawa.

This Agreement will enable new cooperation to go forward between the United States and the Russian Federation. We note that the United States Congress has appropriated 200 million USD for this cooperation and the U.S. Administration intends to seek additional appropriations.

This Agreement will soon be signed by Vice President Gore and Prime Minister Kasyanov.

Moscow June 4, 2000


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