Russia signs uranium import deal with Australia

Mumbai: Russia has signed an agreement with Australia for buying uranium for its nuclear reactors for domestic civil use. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the deal after his talks with prime minister John Howard this morning at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

"Any uranium that is sold to Russia will be sold under very strict safeguards," Howard said at a joint press conference with Putin in Sydney.

He said the new agreement would allow the supply of Australian uranium for use in Russia''s civil nuclear power industry and provide a framework for broader cooperation on peaceful nuclear-related activities.

Australia could be exporting its yellow cake to Russia as soon as next year, but Russia could not sell the fuel to any other nation or use it for military purposes.

The Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer has expressed confidence that Russia would not risk breaching those conditions.