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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Refusal to Deliver Uranium to Russia Proves Australia Unreliable Partner

Sputnik News

12:48 18.11.2014(updated 14:15 18.11.2014)

The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced Australia's decision to stop uranuim export to Russia.

MOSCOW, November 18 (Sputnik) – Australia has "shot itself in the foot" by refusing to deliver uranium to Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry's information department said Tuesday in a statement.

"We paid attention to Australian Ambassador [to Russia] Paul Myler's statement of why his country stopped the delivery of uranium to Russia because it was in line with losing our trust. In fact, Paul Myler accused Russia in the likely breach in obligations of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We'll say it straight out: Such words again confirm the isolation from statements of reality that are heard from representatives from the Australian establishment," the department said.

"By refusing this cooperation [of delivering uranium to Russia], Australia has 'shot itself in the foot' and has proven that it cannot be seen as a reliable business partner in such a sensitive and responsible sphere like the peaceful atom," the department continued.

The ministry stressed that Russia had always been a 'staunch proponent' when it came to the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, 'including nuclear' weapons.

The statement added that Russia had plenty of uranium to last for decades to come, and therefore its nuclear industry did not depend on 'those in Canberra who are taking short-sighted political decisions.'

Australia holds the largest uranium deposits in the world. In 2007, Moscow and Canberra signed a nuclear energy cooperation agreement. The first shipment of Australian uranium reached Russia in 2012.

In early September, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott informed parliament of Canberra's decision to ban uranium exports to Russia over the Ukrainian row and the alleged shooting of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine, which killed 28 Australians.

Abbott said he hoped Australia would instead reach a deal with India, which is not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.


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