In a pointed but mostly symbolic expression of displeasure with Moscow, President Bush on Monday canceled a once-celebrated civilian nuclear cooperation deal with Russia.
Bush had sent the agreement to Congress for approval in May, after a much-heralded signing by the two nations that capped two years of tough negotiations.
On Monday, he officially pulled it back, a move announced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The action combines with a recently announced $1 billion foreign aid package for tiny, West-leaning Georgia and the time Vice President Dick Cheney spent last week railing against Russia throughout its backyard to form the U.S. administration's punishment of Moscow for its invasion of Georgia. The nuclear deal was highly unlikely to win approval on Capitol Hill this year anyway, but Bush decided to withdraw it to make a statement.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Moscow, though, might not be much inclined to hear it.
Newly flush with riches from sales of its vast energy resources, Russia appears to think it no longer has as much need for the potentially billions in revenue the deal would have provided it by allowing Moscow to establish a lucrative business as the center for the import and storage of spent nuclear fuel from American-supplied reactors around the world.