Russia criticises America’s dumping of nuclear pact

The United States said on Monday that Bush would withdraw the agreement Congress. The move was widely seen as a penalty on Moscow for its actions in Georgia.

But officials in both Washington and Moscow said the step could ultimately save the agreement, possibly for a future U.S. administration, by preventing Congress from sinking the deal, said Reuters.

"We see the decision of U.S. President G. Bush … to pull the agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy as mistaken and politicized," Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The step by the US administration is worthy of regret," the ministry said, adding that Russia viewed the decision as a breach of agreements made between Bush and former President Vladimir Putin in April, wrote the agency.

But Russia’s powerful first deputy prime minister, Igor Shuvalov, told reporters that Moscow still wanted cooperation to continue in the nuclear sector.

"We consider that the joint development of relations between the Russian Federation and the United States in the sphere of the peaceful use of nuclear energy is very important," Shuvalov told reporters in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

"Whatever the decisions at the current time, we consider that it is a promising area for mutual cooperation and Russia and America will definitely cooperate, if not now than in the future," Shuvalov said.