March 5, 2014
U.S. Energy Department efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials in Russia have stalled following the expiration of a long-held agreement with Moscow last summer, an agency official said on Tuesday.
The now-tenuous situation in neighboring Ukraine may further delay the initiatives, according to Anne Harrington, deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the department’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration.
The so-called Cooperative Threat Reduction umbrella agreement expired in June, in part because Moscow was no longer interested in extending a pact that shielded the U.S. government and its contractors from virtually all liability from incidents that could occur during the course of work on Russian soil.
The 20-year-old-accord is often referred to as the “Nunn-Lugar” agreement, due to the roles former Senators Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) played in forging the pact as the Soviet Union was collapsing.
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