Russia withdraws from plutonium treaty, marks worsening ties with US

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Monday withdrawing Russia from the 2000 plutonium disposal treaty that was part of the nuclear disarmament deals that followed the ending of the Cold War. “Times have changed,” said Putin, citing “The radically changed environment and threat to strategic stability posed by hostile US actions against Russia.”

The decree also offered an assurance, backed by no bilateral agreement, that the plutonium will not be used for military purposes. However, it is a signal that the nuclear agreements accompanying the Soviet Union’s breakup could be open to revision if relations deteriorate with the West.

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