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Rogers: Nuclear cooperation between Russia, China ‘direct threat to U.S. security’

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) is calling on the Biden administration to take steps that would hinder the cooperation between Russia and China on nuclear technology.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rogers joined House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) in a letter to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about how the cooperation between the two countries threatens national security.

“Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, is helping the People’s Republic of China (PRC) acquire enough weapons grade plutonium to fuel its strategic nuclear breakout,” Rogers said in the letter. “Beyond fueling the PRC’s strategic nuclear breakout, which in 2021 then-U.S. Strategic Command commander Admiral Charles Richard called ‘breathtaking’, Rosatom helps fuel Putin’s war efforts in Ukraine. We call on the Administration to view this cooperation for what it is, a direct threat to U.S. security and more evidence that Russia and China are working in tandem against the United States. The Administration should use all tools at its disposal to stop Rosatom and the PRC’s dangerous cooperation.”

Rogers said the administration needs to take action immediately on this matter because of the continuing war in Ukraine.

“Despite these malign activities, Rosatom’s position in the global market is only getting stronger,” he added. “The longer we wait to act, the more difficult it will be to address Rosatom’s nefarious and malign dealings. Putin uses these funds to fund his war machine and keep his favorite weapons programs on schedule. In short, every dollar and euro that Rosatom brings in directly finances the death and destruction we see in Ukraine, China’s nuclear weapon expansion, and is a direct threat to the American way of life.”

The members of Congress said they are glad that the administration has already implemented some sanctions, but argued that much more needs to be done.

“To this end, we were heartened to see the Administration take steps to sanction
three Rosatom subsidiaries on February 24, 2023,” said the letter. “Additionally, we implore more senior administration officials to speak out publicly against this behavior, such as Assistant Secretary of Defense Plumb did when he stated “It’s very troubling to see Russia and China cooperating on this…They may have talking points around it, but there’s no getting around the fact that breeder reactors are plutonium, and plutonium is for weapons. So, I think the [Defense] Department is concerned. And of course, it matches our concerns
about China’s increased expansion of its nuclear forces as well, because you need more plutonium for more weapons.

“These actions do not begin to scratch the surface as to what needs to be done,
however. Stronger action is required and it needs a whole-of-government approach. We
ask that you use all the tools at your disposal, such as the full application of sanctions,
export controls, and diplomacy.”

U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) also showed his support for his colleagues on this issue.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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