U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered a one-year extension of the U.S. national emergency over Russian atomic material suitable for use in nuclear weapons.
Obama submitted a notice of the extension for publication in the U.S. Federal Register on Monday.
“The accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said in a message to the U.S. Congress accompanying the notice.
“For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation and maintain in force these emergency authorities to respond to this threat,” he said.
The national emergency over Russian nuke material was declared in Executive Order 13159 of June 21, 2000 by the then-president Bill Clinton. It has been extended annually ever since.
The extension of the emergency is necessary to support the execution of a 1993 Moscow-Washington agreement on eliminating highly enriched uranium removed from Russian nuclear warheads (the so-called HEU-LEU agreement).