Russia is concerned that the Okos agreement will allow Australia to enter the elite club of nuclear submarines.
Russia said on Friday it was concerned that the “Ocos” defense agreement between Australia, Britain and the United States would allow Australia access to a select group of countries that operate nuclear-powered submarines.
The TASS news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying from Geneva today that he considers the agreement a challenge to prevent global nuclear proliferation.
“We are also concerned about … a partnership that will allow Australia, after 18 months of consultations and several years of trying, to acquire nuclear-powered submarines in sufficient numbers to become one of the top five countries for this type of weapon,” he added. “This is a major challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime,” he was quoted as saying.
Only the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China operate nuclear-powered submarines.
The trilateral agreement, under which Australia will acquire nuclear submarine technology from the United States, has angered France and worried China since Washington, London and Canberra announced it last month.
Moscow said earlier this week that it was seeking more information about the agreement.