More on theNuclear Security Summit
Today, Secretary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov signed the 2000 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement. This signing of this protocol marks another major step in U.S. and Russian efforts to eliminate nuclear-weapon-grade materials. Secretary Clinton said:
"I am very pleased that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I are able to do this together. We have had many meetings over the past 15 months and I always look forward to a productive discussion, a candid exchange of views, and a determination to make progress together.
"This is an historic time for U.S.-Russian relations. Last week, our presidents signed the new START treaty, which will make our two countries and the world safer and more secure by reducing the number of strategic nuclear weapons in our stockpiles. And this week, we've gathered with representatives from more than 45 nations to address the urgent global threat posed by vulnerable nuclear material. And now, we are taking another step to increase our mutual security and deepen our bilateral cooperation. Under the agreement we are about to sign, the United States and Russia will each irreversibly and transparently dispose of no less than 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. Together, that is enough material for nearly 17,000 nuclear weapons. And we will put in place the framework and infrastructure needed to dispose of even more plutonium from defense programs in the future.
"The agreement provides for monitoring and inspections that will ensure that this material will never again be used for weapons or any other military purpose. By using civil nuclear reactors to dispose of the plutonium, we gain an added benefit -- to produce electricity for our people, even as we remove a potential serious danger. And I want to thank the two teams from both Russia and the United States who worked together to hammer out this agreement. I see familiar faces, both from my country and now, after so many meetings, familiar faces from Russia. And Minister Lavrov and I could not be standing here without the extraordinary expertise and commitment that these teams brought to this occasion. Thank you very much."
Read the Secretary's full remarks with Foreign Minister Lavrov here.
Related Entry:New START Treaty and Protocol