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Australia may halt uranium exports to Russia

Australia may halt uranium exports to Russia article image

Australia will consider banning uranium exports to Russia as part of a new stage of sanctions against the country.  

"We are considering what other action we can sensibly take in terms of further increasing the level of sanctions imposed on Russia,” Australia's Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said.  

And when asked about the prospect of extending sanctions to include uranium, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “Everything’s on the table.”  

Mr Abbott put Russia on notice that Australia would extend current export sanctions in the event of a Russian incursion into Ukraine.  

“We will not accept that any Russian troop movement across the border could have a humanitarian purpose,” he said.  

“Our message to President (Vladimir) Putin is, ‘hold your forces back’,” Mr Abbott said.  

“Any move by Russian forces across the border would be an invasion, pure and simple.”  

Strong sanctions  

Russia last week imposed a one-year ban on agricultural and food product imports from the countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis.  

This includes Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.  

The list includes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, milk, dairy products, and fruit and vegetables.  

Mr Abbott said Australia was "working towards strong sanctions" against Russia if the latter did not call off its import ban.  

Australia has the world's largest uranium reserves. Russia signed an agreement with Australia on the peaceful use of nuclear energy in 2007, and received first uranium supplies in 2012. 

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