Australia seals uranium export deal with Ukraine

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced a pact to export uranium to Ukraine, which could help ease capital city Kiev’s reliance on Russia for energy.

Ukraine has previously expressed interest in buying the material, as well as coal, from Australia, the world’s third-ranking uranium producer behind Kazakhstan and Canada.

The agreement allows Ukraine the opportunity to diversify its energy supply and reduce its dependency on its hostile neighbour, Russia.

Ms Bishop, who is in Washington for a nuclear security summit on reducing stockpiles, said all exports of Australian uranium will be subject to internationally agreed security standards.

Australia and Ukraine were among a group of countries that pushed for a United Nations resolution to establish a special tribunal to try those responsible for shooting down the flight. The move was vetoed by Russia.

Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest generators of nuclear power and the explosion at its Chernobyl plant remains the world’s worst atomic accident in terms of lives and cost. The agreement comes as Kiev is battling an economic crisis that saw growth shrink about 10 per cent last year while annual inflation soared to more than 43 per cent, as reported by AFP.