Click here to read the transcript and view the video of Robert Amsterdam’s interview with Tony Jones on Australia’s “Lateline.”
TONY JONES: But if this Russian state is, as you argue, essentially hopelessly corrupt, what does that mean for making deals with them as Australia is, and a brand-new agreement on selling uranium to come back to your original point? ROBERT AMSTERDAM: That we’ve got to include conditionality. That if you’re in a situation where the Russians are intent on obtaining this uranium, you’ve got the leverage to impose conditionality. And I’m not saying you make the condition the release of Khodorkovsky, I’m saying you make the condition developments in respect of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, as well as with the external issues like Iran. I’m saying there’s got to be some accountability for where Mr Putin is taking Russia. TONY JONES: Australia has always had stringent safeguard arrangements with all of its uranium. It flags where it goes and what the end use is. Are you saying that Russia is too corrupt to allow those kind of safeguards to work? ROBERT AMSTERDAM: Absolutely. I’m saying that you have to only look at what Russia has done in its foreign relations in the last two months between the war on Estonia, the energy dealings with Poland and the Baltics, the incredible activity with Georgia where young Georgian students are pulled out of schools to understand that the destruction of the institutions in Russia has gone so far that this Kremlin cannot be trusted.