National Security Council Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counter Proliferation Christopher Ford warned that worsening of US-Russian relations may result in nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists and hostile nations.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The chill in relations between the United States and Russia increases the risk that nuclear materials will fall into the hands of terrorists and hostile nations, National Security Council Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Counter Proliferation Christopher Ford told the Hudson Institute.
“Russia’s withdrawal from almost all aspects of bilateral cooperation in securing nuclear material could result in a reduction in security at certain facilities within Russia’s vast and expansive nuclear complex,” Ford stated on Tuesday. “Moscow will need to commit significant financial and human resources to maintain adequate security with its nuclear infrastructure.”
Russia’s decision to boycott the fourth nuclear summit hosted by former President Barack Obama in 2016 illustrated the absence of cooperation on nuclear issues with the United States, a cornerstone of cooperation with Moscow since the final days of the Cold War.
Without Russia, the United States continues to work bilaterally and multilaterally with other governments and with the private sector to minimize access to nuclear and radiological materials, Ford said.
Terrorist threats exist in global networks and sensitive nuclear or radiological material acquired anywhere could be used against US interests either at home or abroad, Ford added.