Russia expects that at the end of 18 months of additional study, the participants of the AUKUS security partnership (Australia, the UK, and the US) will come to the conclusion that it is necessary to curtail the implementation of the nuclear submarines project, as stated by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov.
Russia expressed its concern that, more than two months after the announcement of the creation of AUKUS on September 15, 2021, an information vacuum and a complete lack of transparency remain around the initiative.
“The text of the trilateral agreement on the exchange of information regarding the nuclear submarines project, which recently appeared in the public domain, does not add clarity either. We understand that such agreements are a normal practice. However, it clearly follows from the contents of the document that an increased level of secrecy will be applied to the project,” Ulyanov emphasized.
He said that the Russian side is still waiting for a clear answer as to what kind of fuel will be used in the power nuclear installations of submarines. The Permanent Representative noted that if we are talking about highly enriched uranium, which is used in most modern nuclear power plants of nuclear submarines, about two tonnes of it will be outside of regular IAEA inspections.
It is said, there are doubts that in this case in the future it will be possible to talk about the confirmation of Australia’s extended conclusion that all nuclear material on its territory or under its jurisdiction remains in peaceful activities.
“We hope that eventually, common sense will prevail, and at the end of the 18 months that the AUKUS participants have given themselves for additional study, they will come to the conclusion that it is necessary to curtail the implementation of the project on nuclear submarines, taking into account the opinion of the international community,” Ulyanov’s statement is quoted on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Moscow also considers it fundamentally important that the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, regularly informs the Board of Governors about the interaction of the IAEA with AUKUS, which is seen as a necessary measure to ensure maximum transparency of the issue.