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11 May, 2010 02:39

Russia and US to revive civil nuclear energy cooperation

President Obama has revived a stalled agreement on Russian-US civilian nuclear energy co-operation. The initiative is being resubmitted to Congress.

The agreement was signed in Moscow in May 2008 but President George W. Bush froze the agreement in September that year following the South Ossetia war.

In his letter to Congress, President Obama said the situation in Georgia needs no longer be considered an obstacle to the agreement.

The agreement allows US and Russian companies to form nuclear joint-ventures and gives the green light for atomic technology exchanges between the two countries.

President Obama linked the move to Moscow's co-operation on a joint approach over Iran's nuclear program crisis.

The agreement will be beneficial both for Russia and the United States, believes independent political analyst Vladimir Kozin. He also says the treaty will help keeping Iran’s nuclear program under control:

“This particular agreement will definitely enhance the non-proliferation regime. We are cooperating with the US government and current administration in order to secure that Iran is fully committed to peaceful use of nuclear energy and does not embark upon a military aspect of this program.”

This deal will open the way to multi-billion businesses between the two countries, says Andrey Kortunov, president of the Moscow–based New Eurasia Foundation think tank. He believes Obama has chosen the right timing for the revival of the deal.

“I think that President Obama decided to submit this treaty to Congress primarily because he feels that right now the agreement is not going to meet serious opposition from the senators – since the Russian-American cooperation on the Iranian issue seems to be progressing quite well. And I think that might lift the restrictions and the hesitations which did exist last year,” Kortunov told RT.

Anton Khlopkov, editor in chief of Nuclear Club magazine, also thinks the deal will open doors to mutually beneficial projects.

We could work together to develop new types of nuclear reactors, which could be safer and better from the non-proliferation point of view,” Khlopkov suggested.