US-Russia civil nuclear deal goes into effect

January 11, 2011 14:08


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MOSCOW — A new agreement that will allow American companies to export nuclear energy technology to Russia went into effect Tuesday.

The civil nuclear agreement, which cleared the US Congress last month, allows the United States and Russia to exchange technology, engage in joint commercial nuclear power ventures and work more closely in combating nuclear proliferation.

Moscow hopes it will lead to major contracts for its nuclear industry, including projects to enrich uranium and produce uranium fuel.

The US has similar agreements with a few dozen other countries, but the deal with Russia was long hampered by political obstacles. The Bush administration first submitted it to Congress in May 2008, but then angrily withdrew it a few months later over Russia's war with Georgia in August 2008.

US President Barack Obama resubmitted the agreement to Congress last year as part of his efforts to "reset" ties with Russia. It also was seen as a reward for Russia supporting the latest set of UN sanctions against Iran.

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