MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott might sign a deal enabling uranium exports from Australia to India during his New Delhi visit on September 4-5.
“My visit will be an opportunity to engage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi early in the term of his government to increase bilateral cooperation to advance our mutual interests,” Abott was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Negotiations between Australia and India began in 2012 when the Australian Labor Party lifted its ban on uranium sales to India, previously in place because New Delhi is not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The deal will make India the first non-NPT signatory to receive Australian uranium to the country’s 20 nuclear reactors. India plans to increase its nuclear capacity by adding some 30 reactors by 2032.
“India is Australia’s fifth-largest export market, with total exports of $11.4 billion, and there is potential for further cooperation in resources, science, technology and education,” the Australian prime minister was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Reports in August claimed both Australian and Indian officials have outlined necessary safeguards for the exports. Abbott’s office was unable to confirm any details related to the country’s potential uranium sales to India.