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Kremlin: Russia skips nuclear security summit over lack of cooperation with partners

March 30, 11:54 UTC+3
The upcoming nuclear security summit in Washington on March 31-April 1 is the fourth and the final in the series of relevant forums held at the initiative of US President Barack Obama
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. Russia has refused to take part in this week’s nuclear security summit in Washington over the lack of cooperation with partners on this issue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"The nuclear security issue is rather topical. At the same time Moscow considers that working on issues linked to nuclear security demands common and joint efforts and mutually taking into account interests and positions," Peskov told reporters.

"We faced a certain lack of cooperation during the preliminary stage of working on issues and topics of the summit. That’s why in this case there is no participation of the Russian side," he explained.

US Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on Tuesday that the decision not to participate in the summit is "a missed opportunity for Russia above all" that leads to the country’s further isolation.

He also assured that the United States and Russia continue to cooperate and discuss issues related to nuclear security.

The upcoming nuclear security summit in Washington on March 31-April 1 is the fourth and the final in the series of relevant forums held at the initiative of US President Barack Obama. The summits were previously held in Washington, Seoul and The Hague.

Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Russia had taken part in three nuclear security summits - in Washington, Seoul and The Hague. "Significant progress has been made in strengthening nuclear security. However, at the moment the political agenda of these summits is exhausted. There are no objectively emerging breakthrough solutions in international cooperation on nuclear security that require the involvement of heads of state and government."

The diplomat said that the organizers of this year’s summit fundamentally changed the concept of the event by proposing to develop some kind of "instructions" for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism as well as the United Nations, Interpol and the Global Partnership.

Russia considers unacceptable the creation of such a precedent of outside interference in the planning of work of the international agencies that have the expertise and rely on democratic procedures, Zakharova said. "In this connection, as we know, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to terminate our participation in preparing for the 2016 summit."

"We believe that the central role in coordinating efforts of the international community in the nuclear security field should be played by the IAEA, which has the necessary expertise," Zakharova added.

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