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Notice given 11 April 2003

*1386  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that India signed a $US3 billion deal with Russia to lease four Tu22 M3 long-range nuclear bombers and two nuclear-capable and nuclear-propelled Akula class submarines.

(2) Can the Minister also confirm that India and Russia have embarked on a joint program to develop a long-range nuclear capable cruise missile, the BrahMos, which is expected to dramatically improve New Delhi’s ability to deliver its nuclear warheads.

(3) What representations has the Australian Government made to India and Russia on these proposals.

(4) What in the Australian Government’s assessment are the implications of these proposals for nuclear non-proliferation.