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U.S. failure to destroy weapons-grade plutonium reason for no-show at nuclear summit - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin enters a hall before a meeting on the preparations for the upcoming Victory Day, marking the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on his decision not to attend a nuclear summit in the United States last week, said on Thursday that Washington’s failure to destroy its stock of weapons-grade plutonium was a major reason for that.

Russia and the United States agreed in the early 2000s that each of the Cold War-era arch foes would eliminate its reserves of weapons-grade plutonium, which Russia did and the U.S. didn’t, Putin said.

“Our partners must understand ... that they should be able to meet their obligations,” he said.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Alexander Winning and Dmitry Solovyov