Russia in Review

I. U.S. and Russian priorities for the bilateral agenda

Nuclear security and safety:

  • The first of 22,000 spent nuclear submarine fuel rods arrived Aug. 16 from Andreyeva Bay in the Russian Arctic at the Mayak reprocessing facility in the Ural Mountains. (Bellona, 08.17.17)
  • To help experts make reliable conclusions about nuclear forensic signatures, the IAEA in August 2017 published a new technical document highlighting novel analytical techniques used by experts around the world. (IAEA, 08.10.17)
  • Washington-based organization Energy Future Initiatives, led by former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, has called for greater federal-level recognition of the importance of America’s nuclear energy supply chain to national security. They recommend immediate government action to support and encourage existing and future new-build projects and to strengthen the supply chain. (World Nuclear News, 08.18.17)
  • The NNSA and the FBI recently teamed up to provide the Turkish National Police with radiation detection systems and training that will enhance their capabilities to detect smuggled nuclear and radiological materials. (NNSA, 08.11.17)
  • Ukrainian state nuclear corporation Energoatom this week hosted the working group created five years ago to achieve a zero-failure rate of nuclear fuel. The group visited the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant. (World Nuclear News, 08.18.17)

Iran’s nuclear program and related issues:

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow hopes Iran will not quit the 2015 nuclear deal in return for the lifting of most economic sanctions. Lavrov spoke Aug. 16 after Iranian President Hassan Rohani's Aug. 15 warning that Tehran could abandon the deal "within hours" if the United States imposed any more new sanctions. (RFE/RL, 08.16.17)

Military issues, including NATO-Russia relations:

  • Disarmament experts have urged Europe to help halt a new Cold War in which global powers have begun a new conventional and nuclear arms race, Germany's foreign minister said on Aug. 16. "They told us we are now repeating the worst mistakes of the Cold War and are in the middle of a Cold War 2.0," Sigmar Gabriel said. (Reuters, 08.16.17)

Counter-terrorism:

  • Russia’s Federal Security Service said on Aug. 14 it has thwarted suicide bombings in Moscow planned by the Islamic State. Four people have been arrested on suspicion of plotting attacks on Moscow’s transit system and shopping malls. The arrested included two would-be suicide bombers, an Islamic State envoy and an expert in explosives. One is a Russian national and three others are from ex-Soviet Central Asia. (AP, 08.14.17)
  • The Far Eastern District Military Court has sentenced a resident of Khabarovsk to five years in jail for assisting terrorist activity. (TASS­, 08.13.17)
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