BISHOP: 'Everything's On The Table' For Next Steps Against Russia

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned nothing will be off limits in terms of further sanctions against Russia amid continuing tensions in Ukraine following the shooting down of MH17.

While import bans are currently only imposed on Russian individuals and companies, if President Vladimir Putin does not comply, Bishops says “everything’s on the table” to be sanctioned.

“If Russia does seek to intervene in Ukraine, there would be consequences”, said Bishop.

This could include banning the sale of uranium to Russia, which is heavily reliant on nuclear power.

And because Australia is a preferred uranium supplier to world, exporting 8391 tonnes between 2012–13, a ban on imports of the resource could put Russia in a difficult position.

Bishop’s threat follows Russia’s ban on food imports from Australia, the U.S., the European Union, Canada, and Norway.

The two-way merchandise trade between Australia and Russia was worth A$1.794 billion in 2013, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Australian merchandise exports to Russia in 2013 were worth A$736 million and imports from Russia totalled A$1.057 billion.

National Farmers Federation general manager of policy Tony Mahar told The ABC that Australian farmers may have to start looking at selling to other markets.

“The complicating factor is, and we don’t know what the impact will be, is (sic) these bans are also put in place for the US and EU, so it will be interesting to see and we’ll monitor the impact of the potential increase in supply and what that means for prices globally,” he said.

“They have to go somewhere, so if there is a ban in place, then those products automatically go onto the global market and everyone is competing to sell their products to other markets.”

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