Vladimir Putin has scrapped a key nuclear control agreement over “unfriendly” actions of the United States towards Russia, in the latest rupture in the troubled relationship between the two countries, according to The Telegraph.
In a decree published on Monday, Russia froze an agreement to dispose of surplus plutonium because of “a drastic change in circumstances, the appearance of a threat to strategic stability due to unfriendly actions of the United States toward Russia", The Telegraph reports.
The document claimed that Washington was "unable" to meet its obligations under the terms of the agreement and that Moscow "must take urgent measures to defend Russian security".
The Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA) was an arrangement for reprocessing weapons-grade material into fuel for nuclear reactors.
The deal, first negotiated by Vladimir Putin and Bill Clinton in 2000 and updated in 2010, committed both countries to disposing of at least 34 tonnes of bomb-grade plutonium, enough to produce around 17,000 nuclear weapons.
The U.S. Department of State praised the deal at the time as an “essential step in the nuclear disarmament process”.