Australia on Tuesday ruled out the prospect of selling uranium to India, saying its stand on the issue remains unchanged as the country is a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean ruled out a change in the policy. “There is no prospect for a change,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“We have consistently said, made this clear to India that we, because of our policy cannot supply to countries that are non-signatories to the non proliferation treaty,” he was quoted as saying by AAP.
The report quoted Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma stating that India needed uranium to secure the “clean” energy source for its population.
Despite the fact that Australia sells uranium only to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories, Mr. Sharma said India had a good record on the issue and should be helped in its goal to cut greenhouse gases.
Meanwhile, Indian-origin journalist Edmond Roy of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is currently in the U.S. working on a critical research project to examine the Australian government’s policy on uranium sales to India.
According to Woodrow Wilson Centre statement, with the recent appointment of Mr. Roy as a Wilson Centre Australian Scholar, he will spend the next three months in the Centre beginning last month working on the project.
Mr. Roy has been working as the Associate Producer of the ABC radio show PM and was previously the presenter of the Australian Network television show Asia-Pacific Focus.
He holds a master’s degree from the University of Kerala.
During his time at the Wilson Centre, Mr. Roy will examine the ways in which successive Australian governments have used the arguments related to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, as well as Canberra’s strategic, military and ideological concerns, to prevent Australian uranium sales to India.
His Wilson Centre project will explain India’s options, given its growing need for energy, and ask whether Australia can sustain this policy in the years ahead.
He will also examine possible changes to the policy in light of the Indo—U.S. nuclear agreement, and the deal’s impact on Indo-Australian relations, the statement said.