Uranium deal with Russia is risky business

Friends of the Earth Australia condemns todays announcement of a deal to sell uranium to Russia

MEDIA RELEASE 7/09/07

Uranium deal with Russia is risky business

Friends of the Earth, Australia (FoE) condemns todays announcement of a deal to sell uranium to Russia.

“The Australian government is following a dangerous trend of opening up uranium sales to yet another nuclear weapons state which refuses to abide by its disarmament commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),” said FoE nuclear campaigner Michaela Stubbs.

Australia now has uranium export agreements with all of the five 'declared' NPT weapons states though all of them are in breach of their NPT disarmament commitments. Howard also wants to sell uranium to India, a rogue weapons state which has not even signed the NPT, and the
government allows uranium sales to countries such as South Korea with a history of secret weapons research based on their 'civil' programs," Ms Stubbs said.

The intransigence of Russia and the other nuclear weapons states provides incentives and excuses for other states to pursue nuclear weapons. According to International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Dr. Mohamed El Baradei: "As long as some countries place strategic reliance on nuclear weapons as a deterrent, other countries will emulate them. We cannot delude ourselves into thinking otherwise."

Michaela Stubbs concluded: "Howard should be reporting Putin and the other nuclear war-mongers to the UN Security Council for violating their disarmament commitments rather than signing a uranium export agreement.

Both major political parties in Australia are ignoring the wishes of the Australian public. We have the responsibility to engage in safe global trade not to fuel nuclear weapons proliferation, regional tensions and the production of the longest lived, most toxic waste known to humans."

Contact: Michaela Stubbs – 0429 136 935

</