Ad hoc committee to coordinate Russia, U.S. non-proliferation efforts

Russia and the United States will form an ad hoc committee to generate joint projects for nuclear threat reduction and monitor their fulfillment in line with the new deal, Kommersant said on Friday.

Russia and the United States will form an ad hoc committee to generate joint projects for nuclear threat reduction and monitor their fulfillment in line with the new deal, Kommersantsaid on Friday.

"Officers of the Federal Customs Service and the Rosatom Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision will co-chair the committee on behalf of Russia. Their U.S. vis-a-vis will represent the Department of Energy and the Pentagon. The committee will convene no less than once a year," the newspaper said, quoting a copy the latest intergovernmental agreement in its possession.

The agreement specified areas of Russia-U.S. cooperation. Kommersant emphasized that a key provision of the former Nunn-Lugar program, which caused discontent of Moscow, had been adjusted.

"Earlier the Pentagon had the right to inspect classified nuclear sites in Russia, where equipment acquired with its financial backing was installed. The new agreement says that the sides "will devise alternative and mutually acceptable procedures, which do not require access of U.S. representatives," in the case the access to such sites is limited by Russian laws.

The clause that exempted U.S. contractors from liability even if the equipment they installed or their actions, including deliberate, caused an accident has also been amended. From now on, the Americans will bear financial and legal liability if the intent is proven, Kommersant said.

The documents are yet to be ratified in Russia and the United States, the newspaper said.

The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program of 1992 expired on June 17. The program provided U.S. support to the Russian disposal of redundant weapons of mass destruction.

Russia said in 2012 it wished to stop the Nunn-Lugar program, which had grown obsolete. It also said it was ready to seek new legal frameworks for non-proliferation cooperation with the United States.

Russia and the U.S. signed a new nuclear threat reduction framework document in Washington DC on June 14.

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