Washington : As India and the US work overtime to get a clean NSG waiver, the Bush Administration said the Indo-US atomic deal was currently the "principal focus" of its nuclear policy and given a priority over a similar pact with Russia.

Asked whether developments in Georgia will affect the US-Russia civilian nuclear deal, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the present focus of America's nuclear commerce policy was the India deal and not the one with Russia.

"Our principal focus right now has been on the India civil nuclear deal, having worked through the IAEA, now working through the NSG, and still trying to get into a position to make the appropriate presidential determinations in early September. So that's our focus right now on the civil nuclear side," Rice told reporters on her way to Tel Aviv.

Rice's comments came even as Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon discussed a strategy with senior US officials in Washington to address reservations expressed by some countries at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) over the draft waiver that is required to push the Indso-US nuke deal forward.

Echoing Rice's sentiments, White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said the current focus of the administration was to see the India-US deal through. The fate of the deal rests with the 45-member NSG which is due to meet for the second time in two weeks on September 6.
"I think we have another nuclear agreement in the queue ahead of that (Russian deal), that we're really focussed on right now, and that's the India civil nuclear agreement. And that's generating a lot of work and time and energy on our part to get that done," Fratto said.

"We were able to work that through the IAEA and now working with the NSG, and trying to get that through NSG, and eventually for presentation to our Congress," Fratto added.

The Deputy Press Secretary was asked whether America intends to pull out of the US-Russia civilian nuclear agreement, given Russia's military action in Georgia, or the deal would be completed by the end of the year.