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Russia: U.S. To Aid Nuclear-Arsenal Cleanup


Kananaskis, Canada; 28 June 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A summit of the G-8 leading industrial nations has ended in Canada, highlighted by the announcement of a $20 billion project to decommission weapons of mass destruction in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union. The 10-year deal is aimed at denying militants potential access to nuclear and chemical weapons materials.

The deal was finalized during a one-to-one meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush at the G-8 summit at the Canadian resort of Kananaskis.

The aid will go towards decommissioning weapons, safeguarding nuclear and biological stockpiles, securing nuclear reactors, and, particularly, keeping dangerous materials away from militants. Aid will first go to Russia.

Just before the conclusion of the G-8 summit, Putin hailed the project, but characterized as exaggerated press reports that nuclear materials in Russia are vulnerable. He said Russia's weapons of mass destruction are "under very strict control."

Also yesterday, the G-8 leaders signed an agreement with African leaders to support development and promised further financial aid if African governments root out corruption.

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