Russia, Australia to sign uranium deal in September - extended

Interview

Russia and Australia intend to sign a bilateral agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy during the Russian president’s upcoming visit to the “green continent,” the Australian ambassador to Moscow said Thursday. Australia to sell uranium with safeguards to India

Bob Tyson said under the agreement, Australian uranium will be exported to Russia to be used in Russian nuclear reactors. Vladimir Putin will visit Australia to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney in early September. The previous agreement, which was signed in 1990, permitted Australian uranium to be processed in Russia in the interest of third countries only. Australia holds about one-half of the world’s uranium reserves.

Rejecting the suggestion that selling uranium to India would constitute a risk to global security, Australia has said that it would supply uranium to India and Russia. Announcing this, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said it did not make sense to sell uranium to China but not to India. He said Australia would sell uranium to India under “strict conditions”, which he discussed telephonically with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh last night.

So far, India’s refusal to sign the NPT for being discriminatory has come in the way of Australia supplying uranium to India. The Australian government has so far avoided any comment on whether there are sufficient safeguards to sell uranium to a country outside the international treaty on non-proliferation.
The Australian government says it would include a bilateral safeguards agreement to ensure the uranium supplied by it was used only for peaceful purposes. India would be required to place two-thirds of its existing nuclear power plants, and any new facilities, under United Nations supervision, foreign minister Alexander Downer said. (rian.ru, domain-b.com)

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