President Barack Obama planned to resubmit to Congress on Tuesday a nuclear power pact with Russia that his predecessor angrily canceled two years ago after Russia invaded neighboring Georgia.
The move is another sign of warming relations between the U.S. and Russia, which have previously clashed over NATO expansion plans and Moscow’s claim of a zone of “privileged interest” along its borders.
The White House released a letter from Obama to Congress late Monday saying that the situation in Georgia “need no longer be considered an obstacle” to the agreement.
Obama noted that Russia currently is cooperating with the U.S. in pushing for new sanctions against Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
The president also cited the signing April 13 of the New START treaty limiting nuclear arsenals and the creation last year of a bilateral presidential working group on nuclear energy and security as examples of Russia’s “increased cooperation.”
The revived deal would allow the countries to exchange nuclear energy technology, engage in joint commercial nuclear power ventures and collaborate on nonproliferation goals.
Obama’s decision to resubmit the nuclear agreement is the latest milestone in his administration’s attempts to reset relations with Russia, a major goal of his foreign policy.
President George W. Bush signed and sent the nuclear power agreement to Congress in May 2008, but withdrew it in September, a month after Russia invaded its much smaller, West-leaning neighbor to the south.
Source: The Associated Press.