Russia warns Australia on halting uranium sales

September 2, 2008 07:34

Russia has warned that both the Russian and Australian economies will suffer if Canberra carries out a threat to withhold uranium sales to Moscow because of the conflict in Georgia. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has joined world leaders in calling on Russia to observe a cease-fire agreement that requires it to remove its military from the former Soviet state. Smith warned Monday that if Russia fails to withdraw its troops, Australia might withhold approval of a new agreement that would allow Australian uranium to be exported to fuel Russian power plants. "When the government comes to consider ratification of the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with the Russian Federation, we will take into account not just the merits of the agreement, but events which have occurred in Georgia and ongoing events in Georgia and the state of Australia's bilateral relationship with the Russian Federation," Smith told Parliament.

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