July 8, 2006


U.S. and Russia to Enter Civilian Nuclear Pact: Bush Reverses Long-Standing Policy, Allows Agreement That May Provide Leverage on Iran (Peter Baker, July 8, 2006, Washington Post)

President Bush has decided to permit extensive U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia for the first time, administration officials said yesterday, reversing decades of bipartisan policy in a move that would be worth billions of dollars to Moscow but could provoke an uproar in Congress.

Bush resisted such a move for years, insisting that Russia first stop building a nuclear power station for Iran near the Persian Gulf. But U.S. officials have shifted their view of Russia's collaboration with Iran and concluded that President Vladimir Putin has become a more constructive partner in trying to pressure Tehran to give up any aspirations for nuclear weapons. [...]

A nuclear cooperation agreement would clear the way for Russia to import and store thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel from U.S.-supplied reactors around the world, a lucrative business so far blocked by Washington. It could be used as an incentive to win more Russian cooperation on Iran. And it would be critical to Bush's plan to spread civilian nuclear energy to power-hungry countries because Russia would provide a place to send the used radioactive material.

U.S.-Russia Energy Treaty On Horizon (AP, 7/08/06)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush are expected to make progress at next week's meeting toward an agreement on civilian nuclear power, a Western official and analysts said.

The two leaders have been promoting nuclear energy as a clean alternative and made similar proposals earlier this year on providing nuclear power to developing countries while building in safeguards for nonproliferation.

"I think it is possible you're going to see further discussion of how to advance that cooperation" at the presidents' meeting on the eve of the Group of Eight summit that starts Saturday in St. Petersburg, a Western diplomat said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 8, 2006 7:53 AM

Why don't the Russians just sell us Siberia like they did Alaska? It's not like they need it.

Posted by: Patrick H at July 8, 2006 11:38 AM

Brilliant! Since we can't get Congress to approve a nuclear waste facility, instead we can ship it all to Russia.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2006 12:27 PM