Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Now this is the kind of diplomatic initiative that scores points for being both practical and savvy: A Russian-built, Kazakh-supplied uranium enrichment facility operating under the auspices of the IAEA, designed to furnish reactor fuel to third party civil nuclear programs that meet their non-proliferation obligations. The idea has the added advantages of being profitable and pragmatic, as well:
Ivanov also said fuel for nuclear power plants was a market product and any country represented in the International Atomic Energy Agency that was also signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty had the right to buy it.
"But this is only in theory," Ivanov said. "Due to a variety of political reasons, a country may be denied access to uranium."
It's disheartening to see that at the same time the Bush administration is pushing nuclear deals (see: India) that clearly undermine the non-proliferation regime, Russia is busy outflanking us with initiatives that have both immediate (vis a vis Iran) and longterm relevance. They're also setting themselves up to reap the benefits of the Arab world's growing interest in developing nuclear energy capacity.
Update: Russia also seems to be positioning itself to benefit from the failure of Indian PM Singh to get the US-India nuclear deal through parliament.