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Russia Considers Importing Australian Uranium for Processing

Russia’s Rosatom atomic state corporation director-general Sergei Kirienko told reporters that he and Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office head Robert Floyd have exchanged letters that effectively constitute a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in accordance with Article 12 of a bilateral Russian-Australian intergovernmental agreement on civilian use of atomic energy.

A source speaking on condition of anonymity said that the MoU allows Russia to export Australian uranium for processing at Russian enterprises, commenting, "By exchanging letters, we are setting the memorandum of understanding in motion. All this has created the legal basis for our cooperation," Russia’s news agency Interfax reported.

Floyd said that "the juridical base in itself cannot be a productive basis for cooperation. And I hope that we will now develop our collaboration." He also noted that today's exchange of letters gives us the opportunity to embark on the widest possible cooperation.” Kirienko added that the bilateral cooperation provides a significant opportunity for Russian companies to acquire uranium for the needs of Russian enterprises.

While Russia and Australia in 2007 signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in civilian atomic energy use it is only now that they have adopted a mechanism providing safeguards regarding the civilian use of Australian uranium at Russian enterprises.

By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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