Russia’s Ryabkov Argues AUKUS Challenges Non-Proliferation Regime

Despite angering France and concerning China since it was announced, the trilateral security pact between Australia, the US and the UK (AUKUS) under which Australia will obtain nuclear submarine technology from the United States, it also worries Russia it will allow Australia to enter the elite nuclear submarine club.

Moscow underscored earlier this week it is seeking more information about the pact.

Australia, the US and the UK and announced on September 15 the establishment of AUKUS, the new security partnership in the Indo-Pacific region under which Canberra plans to build at least eight US-designed nuclear-powered submarines and to reequip its armed forces with US-made cruise missiles

The first submarines are planned to come into service in 2036.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stressed on Friday that the pact poses great challenge to the international non-proliferation regime since it’ll allow Australia to acquire technologies to construct nuclear-powered submarines and enter the five countries club- United States, Russia, Britain, France and China – with a similarly capable fleet.

Ryabkov noted that the partnership, signed after eighteen months of consultations and some years of practical efforts, is especially concerning due to the statements on future prospects for expansion of the Australian nuclear capabilities.

Australian closest neighbor’s Prime Minister, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, has expressed similar concerns when she welcomed the upgraded focus on the region by AUKUS but noted that Australia’s new submarines wouldn’t be permitted in its territorial waters exactly due to concerns with regard to the non-proliferation regime.

US President Biden emphasized when announcing the US is forming a new Indo-Pacific security alliance with the UK and Australia that it is aimed at grater sharing of defense capabilities though he was well aware that the move could deepen a growing chasm in US-China relations.

In the first reaction to the newly announced pact, China’s embassy in Washington condemned the move saying that said the three countries should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice.

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