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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 2005

Joint Statement by President Bush and President Putin on Nuclear Security Cooperation

The United States and Russia will enhance cooperation to counter one of the gravest threats our two countries face, nuclear terrorism. We bear a special responsibility for the security of nuclear weapons and fissile material, in order to ensure that there is no possibility such weapons or materials would fall into terrorist hands. While the security of nuclear facilities in the U.S. and Russia meet current requirements, we stress that these requirements must be constantly enhanced to counter the evolving terrorist threats. Building on our earlier work, we announce today our intention to expand and deepen cooperation on nuclear security with the goal of enhancing the security of nuclear facilities in our two countries and, together with our friends and allies, around the globe.

To this end the United States and Russia will continue and expand their cooperation on emergency response capability to deal with the consequences of a nuclear/radiological incident, including the development of additional technical methods to detect nuclear and radioactive materials that are, or may be, involved in the incident.

We will work together to help ensure full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and early adoption of an International Convention on Nuclear Terrorism and the amended Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

U.S. and Russian experts will share "best practices" for the sake of improving security at nuclear facilities, and will jointly initiate security "best practices" consultations with other countries that have advanced nuclear programs. Our experts will convene in 2005 a senior-level bilateral nuclear security workshop to focus increased attention on the "security culture" in our countries including fostering disciplined, well-trained, and responsible custodians and protective forces, and fully utilized and well-maintained security systems.

The United States and Russia will continue to work jointly to develop low-enriched uranium fuel for use in any U.S.- and Russian-design research reactors in third countries now using high-enriched uranium fuel, and to return fresh and spent high-enriched uranium from U.S.- and Russian-design research reactors in third countries.

The United States and Russia will continue our cooperation on security upgrades of nuclear facilities and develop a plan of work through and beyond 2008 on joint projects. Recognizing that the terrorist threat is both long-term and constantly evolving, in 2008 our countries will assess the joint projects and identify avenues for future cooperation consistent with our increased attention to the security culture in both countries.

We have established a bilateral Senior Interagency Group chaired by Secretary of Energy Bodman and Rosatom Director Rumyantsev for cooperation on nuclear security to oversee implementation of these cooperative efforts. A progress report will be due on July 1, 2005, and thereafter on a regular basis.


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