Seoul: A nuclear cooperation agreement
between Russia and Australia went into force on Thursday after their
two leaders exchanged notes to ratify the deal.
Under the agreement Australia will sell uranium to
Russia, against the advice of an Australian parliamentary
Legislators had called for the deal to be blocked
unless Russia met a number of conditions, including speeding
up reforms to separate civilian and military nuclear plants.
"To open a new page, we have a good event today, an
exchange of ratification notes," Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev told Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a
meeting before the opening of the G20 summit in Seoul.
The agreement, which allows Australian uranium to be
enriched in Russia and used in Russian nuclear reactors, was
signed in Sydney in 2007 and ratified by the lower house of
Russia`s parliament this summer.
It last for 30 years but can remain in force
indefinitely if there are no objections from either side.
The agreement means uranium supplied to Russia can be
used only for peaceful purposes, must meet International
Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and can be used only in
facilities agreed by Australia.
A previous agreement signed in 1990 specified that
Australian uranium supplied to Russia could be enriched for
use by third countries only.