U S pull out from civil nuclear deal a "mistake": Russia

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Moscow, Sep 10 (UNI) Russia has said the U S decision to pull out from bilateral civil nuclear cooperation deal was a politically motivated mistake.

"We regard the decision of US President George W. Bush to recall from Congress the submitted-for-ratification Russian-U S civil nuclear cooperation agreement as erroneous and politicized," Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Bush withdrew the deal on Monday from the U S Congress amid international condemnation of Russia's actions in the recent Georgian crisis.

"We are also puzzled by the timing of the announcement of this decision," the statement said, adding "This step of the U S administration deserves regret." "It runs counter to the accord reached during the April meeting between the Russian and U S Presidents at Sochi on a strategic framework for our relationship and, in particular, on the soonest enactment of this agreement," it said.

"The sides then characterized it as crucially important for Russian-U S cooperation under bilateral programmes and initiatives in the field of the peaceful use of nuclear energy," it noted.

"It is obvious that the recall of this agreement from the U S Congress will be interpreted as a 'penalty' or 'restriction' for Russia," it said.

"To us such interpretations are unconvincing, as are the explanations along the lines that this 'minimizes the damage' which could increase had the administration decided not to recall the agreement from Congress," the statement pointed out.

"The civil nuclear cooperation agreement is equally advantageous to both Russia and the United States, and therefore owing to its recall U S nuclear industry will suffer no less than Russia's," it stressed.

"We regard the actions of the U S administration as an explicit breach of the commitments assumed by it, which deals a blow to our partner interaction and closes the road to mutually advantageous bilateral cooperation on many issues in the field of the peaceful atom," the statement said.

"We consider the attempts of Washington to impose on other countries its logic of action as a behavioural model in relations with Russia unacceptable likewise," it added.

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