Russia wants out of dismantling programme, US says talks still on
The United States said Thursday that it was still talking to Russia about future cooperation in a decades-old joint programme to dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons, DPA reported.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland responded to reports that Moscow wants to end cooperation under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme.
The multibillion-dollar effort, paid for by US taxpayers, was started after the end of the Cold War to help an economically struggling, post-Soviet Russia deal with its stockpiles of unconventional weapons across the former Soviet Union.
More than 7,500 nuclear warheads have been deactivated, and fissile materials have been secured.
Nuland said that the programme had "paid dividends" for the Russian and American peoples alike.
According to The New York Times, the Russian government said Wednesday that it would not renew the 20-year partnership when it expires in 2013, adding a possible new setback to US-Russia relations.
In September, the Kremlin accused the United States of interfering in Russia's internal affairs and ended the US Agency for International Development's activities in the country.
Nuland said that Moscow has already told the US that they want revisions to the agreement and indicated that Moscow and Washington are "continuing to have those conversations."
"We are prepared to work with them on those revisions, and we want to have conversations about it," Nuland said.