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Australia May Stop Uranium Exports to Russia - Reports

RIA Novosti, PUBLISHED 09.08.2014

Australian government will consider banning uranium exports to Russia as part of a new stage of sanctions against the country, Australia's Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Sky News television Saturday.

"We are considering what other action we can sensibly take in terms of further increasing the level of sanctions imposed on Russia and all these matters ... will be part of a proper and considered discussion before we make a decision," Cormann said.

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop mentioned earlier that uranium sanctions against Russia were possible, after Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday that Australia was "working towards strong sanctions" against Russia if the latter did not call off its import ban.

On Thursday, Russia imposed a one-year ban on agricultural and food product imports from the countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis, namely Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway. The list includes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, milk, dairy products, and fruit and vegetables.

Cormann said the Australian government was working with agricultural goods producers helping them find new markets. He also said the import ban would have little effect on Australia - about $400 million, or 0.4 percent of the country's total export.

"It is not a significant amount of trade," Cormann said.

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.

Topics: Uranium, Australia, Russia

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