Putin suspends nuclear deal with US

Putin said "unfriendly actions" and the U.S.' inability to fulfill its obligations under the 2000 deal as reasons for the move

United States President Barack Obama and Russia's President President Vladimir Putin pose for members of the media before a bilateral meeting at United Nations headquarters.
United States President Barack Obama, right, and Russia's President President Vladimir Putin pose for members of the media before a bilateral meeting Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

MOSCOW (AP) – President Vladimir Putin has suspended a Russia-U.S. deal on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.

A decree Putin issued Monday cited “unfriendly actions” and the United States’ inability to fulfill its obligations under the 2000 deal as reasons for the move.

Under the agreement, Russia and the U.S. each were to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough material for about 17,000 nuclear warheads.

When it was signed, the deal was touted as an example of successful U.S.-Russian cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation. However, Putin has accused the U.S. of failing to meet its end of the deal.

Construction of a U.S. plant where weapons-grade plutonium would be turned into commercial nuclear reactor fuel has been years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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