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Russia suspended nuclear cooperation deal with US over sanctions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Nuclear power plant in Russia

Russia has announced the suspension of a nuclear and energy sector cooperation agreement with the US over Washington-imposed sanctions due to the crisis in Ukraine.      

The Kremlin made the announcement via a Wednesday statement signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (seen below).

“In connection with the imposition of restrictions on cooperation with the Russian Federation in nuclear energy by the United States of America,” the cancelation will come into effect 90 days after respective notification is received from the US.

The two countries signed the agreement on scientific and technical cooperation in the utilization of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in September 2013.

"The regular renewal of sanctions against Russia, which include the suspension of Russian-American cooperation in the field of nuclear energy demands the adoption of countermeasures against the US side," added the statement.

US 'regrets' Russia's decision

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner (seen below) said an official notification from Russia over the cancelation of the agreement had not yet been received by Washington, although he had seen media reports about Russia's announcement.

"If they're accurate, we would regret the Russian decision to unilaterally suspend cooperation on what we believe is a very important issue that's in the interest of both of our countries," he said.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin also issued a decree, suspending a treaty with the US on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, over “a threat to strategic stability posed by the hostile actions of the US against Russia.” 

The US has imposed an array of sanctions against Russia since 2014, when clashes between the US-backed government in Kiev and pro-Russia forces erupted in eastern Ukraine. The US and EU have accused Russia of playing a role in Ukraine’s conflict. Moscow, however, denies the allegations.   

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