This article originally appeared in Global Security Newswire, produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group whose mission is preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
President Obama has ordered a one-year extension of the U.S. national emergency first declared in 2000 over Russian atomic material suitable for use in nuclear weapons.
Obama submitted a notice of the extension for publication in the Federal Register.
"It remains a major national security goal of the United States to ensure that fissile material removed from Russian nuclear weapons pursuant to various arms control and disarmament agreements is dedicated to peaceful uses, subject to transparency measures, and protected from diversion to activities of proliferation concern," Obama said in a statement.
"The accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation and maintain in force these emergency authorities to respond to this threat," he stated.
The national emergency was previously scheduled to expire on Tuesday.
The extension of Executive Order 13159, which declared the national emergency, is necessary to support the execution of a 1993 Moscow-Washington agreement on eliminating highly enriched uranium removed from Russian nuclear warheads, Obama said in a separate statement.