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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 17, 2006
Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and President V. V. Putin
The United States and the Russian Federation believe that strengthening their cooperation in civil nuclear energy is in the strategic interests of both our countries. It will serve as an additional assurance of access for other nations to economical and environmentally safe peaceful nuclear energy.
The United States and the Russian Federation are working together to meet the challenges posed by the combination of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism. We recognize the devastation that could befall our peoples and the world community if nuclear weapons or materials or other weapons of mass destruction were to fall into the hands of terrorists. We are closely cooperating to lessen that unacceptable danger, including by strengthening the nonproliferation regime and ensuring the security of nuclear weapons and fissile materials.
Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
The United States and the Russian Federation are convinced that reliable and sufficient energy supplies are the cornerstone of sustainable economic development and prosperity for all nations, and a necessary condition for maintaining international stability. Today nuclear energy is a proven technology for providing reliable electric power without emissions of greenhouse gases, and is an essential part of any solution to meet growing energy demand.
We share the view that nuclear energy has an essential role in the promotion of energy security, which is an issue of special concern for the leaders of the G-8. Advancing nuclear energy will require further development of innovative technologies that reduce the risk of proliferation, provide for safe management of waste, are economically viable, and are environmentally safe.
Being consistent in our approach to assure access to the benefits of nuclear energy for all nations complying with their non-proliferation obligations, we have each proposed initiatives on the development of a global nuclear energy infrastructure, specifically the Russian proposal to establish a system of international centers to provide nuclear fuel services, including uranium enrichment, under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, and the U.S. proposal for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership to develop innovative nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies.
Following up on these initiatives, the United States and the Russian Federation intend to work together, actively involving the IAEA, to allow all nations to enjoy the benefits of nuclear energy without pursuing uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing capabilities.
The United States and the Russian Federation together with four other nuclear fuel supplier states have also proposed a concept for reliable access to nuclear fuel for consideration and development at the IAEA.
We call upon other countries to join us to facilitate the safe and secure expansion of nuclear energy worldwide. Proceeding from our national interests and common goals, and recognizing the benefits of civil commercial nuclear trade, we express our intent to develop bilateral cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
We have directed our Governments to begin negotiations with the purpose of concluding an agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Countering Nuclear Proliferation
We recognize the vital role of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in the prevention of nuclear proliferation and the importance of the IAEA in implementing safeguards required by the NPT. We are working with our G-8 partners to make the Additional Protocol an essential norm for verifying compliance with nuclear safeguards obligations. We welcome the establishment of the IAEA Committee on Safeguards and Verification. We are actively fulfilling our obligations under Article VI of the NPT by substantially reducing nuclear forces as we implement the Moscow Treaty of May 24, 2002.
We reiterate our support for effective measures to prevent transfers of sensitive nuclear equipment, materials and technologies to states that may seek to use them for weapons purposes, or allow them to fall into terrorists' hands, and will work together to this end.
We reiterate our commitments undertaken under the Bratislava Joint Statement on Nuclear Security Cooperation of February 24, 2005. We have made substantial progress in the implementation of those commitments and we reaffirm our goal of completing nuclear security upgrades by the end of 2008.
We welcome the continued cooperation and the recent extension of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Agreement to ensure full implementation of the ongoing projects launched earlier under this Agreement. In this context, we take note of the start of operations of the Mayak Fissile Materials Storage Facility. We continue discussions on how best to implement our commitments to the disposition by each side of 34 metric tons of weapons grade plutonium.
We applaud the extension of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and the decision by the States Parties to strengthen the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
We will continue to advance the objectives of the Proliferation Security Initiative, which makes an important contribution to countering the trafficking in WMD, their delivery means, and related materials. We welcome increasing international endorsement for the initiative, as was demonstrated at the High Level Political Meeting in Warsaw. We take note of the discussion at that meeting on how PSI states can work cooperatively to prevent and disrupt proliferation finance, in furtherance of UNSCR 1540.
We look forward to reinforcing our partnership with India. We welcome the important nonproliferation commitments India has made, and India's closer alignment with the nonproliferation regime mainstream. We look forward to working with India on civil nuclear cooperation to address its energy requirements, and on further enhancing the global nonproliferation regime. We will continue to work together to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime.
We are especially concerned by the failure of the Iranian government to engage seriously on the proposals made by the P-5 countries and Germany. In this context, we stand fully behind the decision by Foreign Ministers on July 12. We are seriously concerned by North Korea's ballistic missile tests and urge it to return to a moratorium on such launches, to the Six-Party Talks, and to full implementation of the September 19, 2005 agreement. The United States and the Russian Federation are actively working for unity among the UN Security Council members on these sensitive issues. We will continue consultations with our G-8 partners to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime.
Through our cooperation in the field of nuclear nonproliferation we seek to improve the security of our own peoples and of all others in the world community. In doing so, we are building on the unique historic roles and responsibilities of the United States and the Russian Federation in nuclear science and technology, both military and civilian. We are united in our determination to help make the benefits of nuclear energy securely available to all for peaceful purposes.