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Australia-Russia Nuclear Cooperation Agreement referred to Senate Committee

Posted by gmarkets on 28 September, 2007

Greens Senator Christine Milne in the Commonwealth Senate on 17 September 2007 moved a referral questioning the impact of the Australia-Russia Nuclear Cooperation Agreement signed on 7 September 2007 to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee for inquiry and report by 3 December 2007. Matters for enquiry: Milne’s referral motion specified a number of areas for enquiry, namely:

• the ramifications of the agreement with respect to global and regional security;

• the risk that Australian uranium would be exported from the Russian Federation (Russia) to third states, contrary to agreements;

• the 2005 Russian deal to sell uranium to Iran to fuel the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant, in spite of widespread fears about Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program;

• the implications of the agreement for the sale of nuclear fuel to India;

• the extent to which the supply of Australian uranium would enable Russia to increase its export of nuclear material;

• the weakness of the rule of law, including corporate law, in Russia; and

• the ability to verify Russia’s compliance with any agreed safeguards noting, in particular, the European Parliament’s resolution of 10 May 2007 on the European Union-Russia Summit which expressed concern about, inter alia, Russia’s lack of respect for human rights, democracy, freedom of expression, and the rights of civil society and individuals to challenge authorities and hold them accountable for their actions.

Reference: Christine Milne, Senator for Tasmania, Australian Greens, Commonwealth Senate, 17 Sepetember 2007 (on Committees: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee Reference).

Erisk Net, 17/9/2007

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