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‘Yellowcake John’ aiding BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto: emulating Pig Iron Bob in dying days of his prime ministership, argues Milne

Posted by gmarkets on 2 October, 2007

Christine Milne, Senator for Tasmania, Australian Greens, speaking to the Commonwealth Senate, 17 September 2007 about the uranium deal with Russian said “the naivety that has been demonstrated by the government is reminiscent of former Prime Minister of Australia – Pig Iron Bob — whom Prime Minister Howard wishes to emulate — who in 1938-39, when the waterside workers tried to ban the export of pig-iron to Japan, overrode that.”

Appalling consequences: “Of course, the pig-iron went to Japan with appalling consequences for Australia and in fact for the rest of the world,” said Milne. “I would suggest that, as we have had Pig Iron Bob, our current Prime Minister could be known as ‘Yellowcake John’ — emulating Pig Iron Bob in the dying days of his prime ministership”.

Interests of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto: Milne said BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto “have been talking to the Russians for some time about this particular text — in looking at the agreement it seems that it could easily facilitate the involvement of both those companies in mining uranium in Russia as well as here and also the involvement of private sector investment in the uranium enrichment facility in Angarsk.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto beware: “It could well be interesting because Russia under the current leadership has demonstrated no respect for the rule of law, whether it comes to human rights, civil rights or corporate law, as Shell discovered when it built a large pipeline only to have it nationalised after the event. The same has occurred with Khodorkovsky, who has been jailed and his Yukos assets nationalised. He remains in prison in Russia with what are trumped-up charges such that the Swiss federal court recently has said that it will not provide information to the Russians because it is clearly a politically motivated trial to keep him in jail until after the Duma elections and the presidential elections next year”.

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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