THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2009
Joint Statement by President Barack Obama of the United States of America and President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Cooperation
The United States of America and the Russian Federation confirm their commitment to strengthening their cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and stop acts of nuclear terrorism. We bear special responsibility for security of nuclear weapons. While we reconfirm that security at nuclear facilities in the United States and Russia meets current requirements, we stress that nuclear security requirements need continuous upgrading. We will continue cooperating on effective export controls that make it possible to prevent nuclear materials, equipment and technologies from falling into the hands of actors unauthorized by the state as well as prevent their use in any manner contrary to obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Building upon previous joint efforts, experience and achievements, and in order to fulfill our agreements reached in London on April 1, 2009, we declare an intent to broaden and deepen long-term cooperation to further increase the level of security of nuclear facilities around the world, including through minimization of the use of highly-enriched uranium in civilian applications and through consolidation and conversion of nuclear materials. We also reaffirm our commitment to dispose of existing stockpiles of weapon-grade materials that are surplus to defense needs consistent with our obligations under Article VI of the NPT.
Both sides remain committed to executing the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Management and Disposition of Plutonium Designated as No Longer Required for Defense Purposes and Related Cooperation to dispose of 34 metric tons each of weapons-grade plutonium in the United States and Russia. The parties recognize that successful implementation of their respective programs will be subject to future appropriation of funds.
Both sides commit themselves to the nuclear security initiatives begun in 2005, to include the repatriation of spent highly-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel. To expand on this work, we will jointly and together with other nations work to return research reactor HEU fuel under the agreed-upon schedule, as a practical implementation of nuclear nonproliferation objectives. We will continue working with other nations to secure and to eliminate excess stocks of proliferation-sensitive nuclear materials worldwide.
We will continue cooperating on development of new types of low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel for possible conversion of research reactor cores in third countries and on conducting feasibility studies to explore possibilities for conversion of such individual reactors in the United States and Russia. We note the importance of HEU minimization in civilian applications and support such efforts to the maximum extent possible, where feasible.
To continue to improve the level of nuclear security and to combat existing and emerging threats, our experts will continue working to further improve physical protection systems at nuclear facilities and ensure that these improvements will be sustained in the long term. We will continuously improve physical protection, accounting and control of nuclear materials and radioactive substances and qualifications of professional staff.
Building on our excellent bilateral cooperation in nuclear security, and the expertise of both countries in this area, we will work together to strengthen the ability of other nations to carry out their weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation obligations under UNSCR 1540.
We express our mutual desire to expand capabilities to combat illicit trafficking of nuclear materials and radioactive substances at the borders of our countries.
Recognizing the important role of safeguards in promoting confidence in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and in addressing proliferation threats, we will work together to expand opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation to strengthen the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the international safeguards system.
We share a common vision of the growth of clean, safe, secure and affordable nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Our nations have a great deal to offer together with other states to the international community in this area, focusing additional efforts on:
- Development of prospective and innovative nuclear energy systems;
- Research into methods and mechanisms for the provision of reliable nuclear fuel cycle services;
- Research into international approaches for the establishment of nuclear fuel cycle services to secure the nuclear weapons nonproliferation regime;
- Improvement of the international safeguards system;
As stated in London on April 1, 2009, the United States and Russia will work to bring into force the bilateral Agreement for Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Energy, which will provide the basis for these and other types of cooperation.
We welcome the expansion and strengthening of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, which held the fifth meeting of partner nations in The Hague on June 16-17, 2009, and we are fully determined to continue joint work to expand national and collective efforts to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism. To this end, we will jointly initiate practical steps, to include conducting world-wide regional nuclear security best-practices workshops to facilitate greater international cooperation in implementing this initiative.