Australian Greens nuclear spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam says the Abbott government has bizarrely linked its India uranium deal to the uranium trade with the Russian Federation, which it abruptly suspended this week in light of tensions in the Ukraine.
"Australia will now be directly complicit in a nuclear arms race in South Asia, with India moving to lock in foreign uranium supplies for power generation so it can preserve its domestic uranium for weapons production," said Senator Ludlam.
"Tony Abbott told reporters, 'India has an absolutely impeccable non-proliferation record,' confirming that diplomatic amnesia will continue to guide Australian policymaking.
"India's nuclear weapons are the result of reneging on an agreement with Canada, which supplied India with its first plutonium facility on the understanding that it would only be used for 'peaceful' purposes.
"Although it is understood that the MOU between India and Australia contains clauses relating to the safety of reactors, it is doubtful that there will be any way of enforcing these commitments, with Tony Abbott saying it's not Australia's job to tell India how to conduct its internal affairs.
"The deal is highly controversial in India, with tens of thousands of demonstrators gathering to protest the construction of Russian built units in Tamil Nadu, in an area that was impacted by the 2004 tsunami," said Senator Ludlam.
"The focus will now shift to Australia, with the Uranium Memorandum of Understanding set to be scrutinised by the Parliament's Treaties Committee, despite the agreement having already been signed by both Prime Ministers."