Russia, US sign nuclear energy deal

The United States and Russia have signed an agreement in Moscow on cooperation in the nuclear energy industry between the two former Cold War foes, a reporter at the signing said.

The agreement will allow US and Russian companies to form joint-ventures in the nuclear sector and will facilitate the transfer of nuclear material between the two countries, officials said earlier.

The agreement opens "large opportunities in the area of business," Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom, said after signing the agreement with US Ambassador to Moscow William Burns.

"Once nuclear rivals, today nuclear partners, the US and Russia now have a framework to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purpose and to advance nuclear energy worldwide," the US embassy said in a statement.

US President George W Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin inked the agreement at a summit in Kennebunkport in the United States last year and discussed it again in the Russian resort of Sochi last month.