Australia’s prime minister said Wednesday that he will sign a uranium export deal with India for peaceful power generation this week, but added that exports of the nuclear fuel to Russia have been banned until further notice.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament he would sign a nuclear cooperation agreement with newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a three-day visit to Mumbai and New Delhi which officially starts Thursday.
“My hope … is to deepen the friendship between Australia and India at a time of renewed optimism in India under the new government of Prime Minister Modi,” Abbot told Parliament ahead of his first visit to India as prime minister.
Abbott declared an official end to the uranium trade with Russia in response to a call from the minor Greens party for uranium to be included in trade sanctions triggered by Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
“There will be no Australian uranium sales to Russia until further notice,” Abbott said.
“Australia has no intention of selling uranium to a country which is so obviously in breach of international law as Russia currently is,” he said.
The uranium export ban on Russian will have no immediate effect, although it bolsters opponents’ argument that the deal had always been a mistake.