On October 3, President Vladimir Putin revoked the Russian Federation’s participation in the Plutonium Management and Disposal Agreement (PMDA). This deal was done in tandem with the United States as a way to reduce cold war nuclear stockpiles. Putin claimed this was a response to the threat posed by recent hostile actions from the United States (Economist).The specific accusation revolves on the Russian government’s argument that the U.S. government’s disposal method allows for the plutonium to be reprocessed for rearming (BBC). The U.S. government did not comply with the agreement due to budgetary costs (RT). Putin also submitted a draft law to the Duma issuing conditions for the deal to be renewed. The draft calls for a reduction of NATO’s presence in countries that joined by September 1, 2000. (RT). The Russian government also requested the lift on sanctions levied in response to its annexation of Crimea (RT).
The deal was first negotiated in 2000; it was re-verified and went into effect in 2010. A U.S. Department report stated the cumulative amount of plutonium that was to be disposed of would have been enough to arm 17,000 nuclear weapons (BBC). The deal is suspected to have collapsed in relation to the sparked tensions from the failed ceasefire in Syria (BBC, Reuters).
Tags: Russia, NATO, Sanctions, United States, Transatlantic Security, Howe