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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

Mary Beth Nikitin
Analyst in Nonproliferation

The bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and Russia entered into force after an exchange of diplomatic notes on January 11, 2011. The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. The agreement was withdrawn from congressional consideration by President George W. Bush on September 8, 2008, in response to Russia’s military actions in Georgia. President Obama transmitted the proposed text of the agreement to Congress on May 10, 2010, along with the required Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement (NPAS) and his determination that the agreement promotes U.S. national security. Under U.S. law, Congress had 30 days of continuous session for consultations with the Administration, followed by an additional 60 days of continuous session to review the agreement. Since it was not opposed by a joint resolution of disapproval or other legislation, the agreement was considered approved at the end of this time period on December 8, 2010.

This report discusses key policy issues related to the agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russian policies toward Iran. These issues were relevant to the debate when the agreement was being considered in the 111
th and 110th Congresses.


Date of Report: January 11, 2011
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: RL34655
Price: $29.95

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