Obama touts Nunn-Lugar, Russia remains negative

President Barack Obama recently touted the U.S. partnership with Russia and the former Soviet Republics to limit the threat from the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons material.

Moscow has indicated that it intends to end its involvement in the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program beginning next year, according to RIA Novosti.

While addressing a symposium to mark the 20th anniversary of the program, Obama hailed its progress. The president said that the CTR program has resulted in the deactivation of 7,600 nuclear warheads.

"Nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to global security," Obama said, RIA Novosti reports. "Let's work with Russia as an equal partner."

The CTR program was started 20 years ago by Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and now retired Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.). Current plans for the program call for a major regional shift in focus from the former Soviet Union to Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that the Nunn-Lugar agreement needs a major overhaul and called for a more modern legal framework for the agreement.

"Our American partners know that their proposal is at odds with our ideas about the forms and basis for building further cooperation in that area," Lukashevich recently said, RIA Novosti reports.