Editorial

AUKUS in Russia’s mirror

Written by The Frontier Post

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mr. Mikhail Ulyanov has expressed serious concern regarding provision of Nuclear Submarines to Australia by the United States under Australia, the UK, and the US (AUKUS) trilateral agreement. According to Ulyanov, it was the responsibility of Canberra to provide complete details regarding AUKUS arrangement and specifications of nuclear plants being used in Nuclear Submarines and nuclear fuel likely to be used in the Nuclear vessels. Ulyanov accused Australia of violating IAEA’s modified code 3.1 by not informing IAEA about details of the AUKUS arrangement after two months.

According to the Russian Envoy, the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran publicly mentioned the possible production of nuclear fuel for offshore nuclear power plant during 2018, and at that time the United States, Great Britain, and other countries strongly demanded that Tehran in the IAEA Board of Governors provide detailed information regarding the project. Whereas Australia failed to do so in a similar position. The Russian Permanent Representative called on Australia to do so without waiting for the Agency Secretariat to send a written reminder to Canberra to comply with the modified Code 3.1 and if nothing changes, IAEA must send a written request to Australia, as it did in 2018 for Iran.

The Biden administration created a tri-nation security agreement with Australia and the UK in September 2021, to arm its Quad patterner with 8 Nuclear powered Submarines while smashing the $ 60 billion purchase deal of 12 Conventional Submarines between France Naval Group and Australia. The arrangement was aimed at Countering China’s growing military capabilities and influence in the Indo-Pacific region and creating a competitive Sea power to deter Chinese threat in the long term. The tri-nation initiative was cautiously viewed by America’s adversaries i.e., Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China (PRC). Earlier, the IAEA had said in a statement that the troika of allies including Australia, the UK and the US had notified the agency of the formation of a new trilateral security partnership called AUKUS.
According to agency, the three allies informed the IAEA Director General, Rafael Grossi, about the 18 months efforts of Australia, the UK’ and the US to identify the best way to support Australia’s acquisition of conventional nuclear powered submarine capabilities for the Australian Navy and assured to maintain both the nuclear non-proliferation regime and Australia’s exemplary reputation in the field of non-proliferation.

However, the Russian permanent Representative at Vienna informed the media that Australia did not comply with its obligation regarding nuclear non-proliferation as a responsible member of IAEA by providing necessary details about the AUKUS arrangement particularly relating to Nuclear plants of Submarines and their fuel arrangements. Whereas previously IAEA’s Chief Rafael Grossi gave Ok signal to AUKUS nations while appreciating their 18 months long efforts aimed at double-dealing with international Community and World Nuclear regulator.

However, the Ulyanov’s assertion shows that America’s rivals are on guard and they are ready to foil the Gorssi’s nexus with three allies. In fact, all nations have equal rights and obligations regarding international agreements and forums and there should be no double standard for any influential or his ally. The great powers are freely trading the weapons of mass destruction under the umbrella of IAEA while others are banned from using peaceful nuclear energy for common good.

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