MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Moscow expects that Canberra, being a nuclear-free country, will continue to comply with its obligations, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"We drew attention to Canberra’s released plans as a part of the new trilateral security initiative of the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom (AUUKUS). We believe that being a nuclear-free country and a faithful participant of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Canberra will comply with its obligations and under its safeguards agreement with the IAEA and its additional protocol. We expect that Canberra will ensure the necessary cooperation with the agency [IAEA — TASS] in order to exclude any non-proliferation risks," Zakharova added.
On September 16, the UK, US and Australia announced the creation of a new security initiative (AUUKUS). As a part of the agreement, Canberra is planning to construct at least 8 nuclear submarines, the first of which will enter service in 2036, and to re-equip its armed forces with US cruise missiles using American and British technology. For this reason, Canberra terminated the largest defense contract in its history with France. The decision has already been called "a stab in the back." Beijing warned that the creation of AUUKUS would exacerbate the arms race, and called on the alliance members to abandon the "cold War-era mentality" and "narrow-minded geopolitical concepts."