Russia to pose questions related to creation of AUKUS along IAEA lines
Russia has expressed its concern over the creation of an alliance between Australia, the UK and the U.S. (AUKUS) during consultations with the U.S. in Geneva, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists on Thursday.
"We also took advantage of the meeting today in order to rather directly convey our concerns to the Americans with regards to them creating together with the UK and Australia a new high-technology AUKUS partnership with the technology transfer of a nuclear propulsion system to Australia expected within its framework in the context of the expected construction of eight nuclear submarines of this country’s navy," the senior diplomat said.
He noted that the transfer of military nuclear technologies to Australia within the AUKUS framework does not comply with the non-proliferation regime and Russia will pose questions related to the creation of the alliance along the lines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "We noted that the actions of this kind poorly aligned with the non-proliferation regime, including its aspect related to ensuring the guarantees of not shifting the nuclear material and nuclear activity from peaceful to military needs," he said. "According to the charter, these guarantees are in the sphere of the IAEA. We will pose these questions in Vienna along the IAEA lines. Earlier, we have already conveyed them to the Americans via U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan and recently we have been conducting similar work in Canberra and London," the senior diplomat said.
The Russian deputy foreign minister also emphasized that London’s intentions to follow the course of building up its nuclear potential cannot be ignored. "It is common knowledge that for the Russian side in this context what is going on with nuclear arsenals of the US’ closest allies - European allies, the UK and France - is of paramount importance," he added. "We are aware of London’s intentions to follow the course of increasing its capabilities in this sphere. Even if not now, but over time - this is a serious moment which cannot be ignored," the senior diplomat said.
On September 15, Australia, the UK and the US announced the establishment of a new security partnership in the Indo-Pacific region - AUKUS. Under the agreement, Canberra plans to build at least eight US-designed nuclear-powered submarines with the first ones among them coming into service in 2036 as well as to reequip its armed forces with US-produced cruise missiles. Due to this, Australia terminated a defense contract with France, the largest in its history.