12:00 Aug. 6, 2016
Additional contracts must be agreed upon in order for supplies to begin, Ukraine's Ambassador to Australia says
Australia is expected to begin supplying uranium to Ukraine at the beginning of 2017. The supplies are made possible after Kyiv and Canberra signed a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement earlier this year.
However, additional deals are required to finalize the procedure, Ukraine's Ambassador to Australia Mykola Kulinich says in an interview with Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform.
"This document (The Nuclear Cooperation Agreement) is a political agreement. Commercial contracts must be signed to enable the supplies. If we don't run into any obstacles, we should expect the first deliveries of Australia's fuel at the beginning of 2017", Kulinich said.
The Ambassador added the agreement was essential for Ukraine. Kyiv used to fully rely on Russian uranium but had to look for other suppliers after Moscow annexed Crimea and instigated war in Donbas.
"Australia says it could cover up to 70% of our uranium needs. The country could become a strategic fuel supplier for our nuclear power plants. Their industry is in crisis because it has to adapt to new, alternate sources of energy. Our agreement means a big boost for their nuclear sector", Kulinich stated.
The Ambassador said, uranium supplies to Ukraine could compensate the cancellation of the similar deal between Australia and Russia. In 2007 Australia signed a bilateral agreement with Russia enabling uranium exports to Moscow, but country's Prime Minister at the time Tony Abbott halted the trade in September 2014 in the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine.