MOSCOW, September 17. / TASS /. Australia's construction of nuclear-powered submarines needs to be closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Permanent Representative of Russia to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Friday, commenting on the AUKUS partnership.
"I will share my view, all this should be closely supervised by the IAEA and its inspection mechanism," the Russian envoy stated. "Secondly, both the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Agreement on Safeguards with the IAEA must be respected. And finally, a sufficient level of transparency is required."
Ulyanov noted that the IAEA Director General had already confirmed that the agency would look into this issue. "However, due to lack of information, he could not clarify how this <…> would be carried out," the diplomat stated.
The Russian envoy recalled that the IAEA was responsible for all nuclear material on the territory of its member states. "A nuclear power plant with highly enriched uranium belongs here, which means, I can only assume, that some inspections, some kind of control will be required," Ulyanov mentioned.
On September 6, Australia, the UK and the US announced a trilateral security partnership in the Indian and Pacific Oceans regions called AUKUS. As part of the agreement, Australia plans, using American technology, to build at least eight nuclear submarines, the first of which will enter service in 2036, as well as to retool its army with US cruise missiles.