Russia-Japan Nuclear Weapons Decommissioning Agreement terminated

Russia suspends nuclear decommissioning agreement with Japan without any prior information.

Russia suspends nuclear decommissioning pact with Japan.
Russia suspends nuclear decommissioning pact with Japan.

Reportedly, the Russian Federation has suspended a cooperation agreement with Japan on the decommissioning of Russian nuclear weapons. The Russian government’s document made this public on Thursday night.

Notably, the document was posted on the Russian government’s official online portal, which displayed that Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin had signed an order to suspend the 1993 agreement on Tuesday.

Though it did not give a valid reason for the decision, it is said that the Russian foreign ministry would inform Japan about the move.

Under the agreement, the Japanese government supported Russia with the Suzuran radioactive waste liquid treatment facility in 2001 to put a stop to nuclear submarines from contaminating the Sea of Japan.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, in a news conference, expressed its frustration as Russia has made this unilateral announcement without any prior notice to Japan. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to Japan imposing economic sanctions on Moscow. Russia’s response to this development led to a unilateral decision which suspended peace negotiations between the two nations in March 2022. 

As a result, the aim of signing a Peace Treaty securing the interests of both nations went out the window. 

When Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February last year after Tokyo joined Western countries by imposing punitive sanctions, both the nations, i.e., Russia and Japan, faced a deterioration in their relationship.

They originally signed this agreement in 1993, and they’ve organised a dedicated committee regarding this purpose.

Russia agreed that its Vladivostok-based Pacific Fleet would take the initiative to stop dumping liquid radioactive waste in the Sea of Japan.

However, they asked richer countries to support the process of the waste for underground burial.

In addition, under the suspended agreement with Japan, Tokyo has helped decommission weapons, which includes dismantling nuclear submarines.

As per the Japanese media reports, it has been noted that the work has stalled, as Moscow had stopped sending the necessary data to Tokyo.

Matsuno suggested that the Japanese government will check the details of Russia’s decision through diplomatic routes. 

Terminating the agreement resulted in deteriorating bilateral relations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the economic sanctions imposed by Japan. 

This decision was an outcome of the work that was suspended after Russia refused to send military data to Tokyo.

Not only this but notably, Russia has also withdrawn from the combined economic activities in the islands off Hokkaido, which are also known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia.