Australia blocks Russian Embassy construction near parliament

Sydney, Australia, June 15 (EFE).- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced Thursday that he would block the construction of the Russian Embassy in the vicinity of the Parliament building in Canberra, citing national security concerns.

The government said it would present a bill to terminate the lease of land adjacent to parliament, where the building was planned to be constructed.

“We anticipate that this law will be approved today in both the House of Representatives and the Senate,” Albanese said during a press conference, adding that his government, with the support of the opposition, would act “quickly” against this risk.

Albanese said he fears that the location of the new Russian delegation so close to parliament presents a risk “in terms of political interference” with the activities of the Australian legislature.

The move comes after Australia’s Federal Court on May 31 invalidated an eviction order issued in August 2022 by the Canberra National Capital Authority arguing that Russia had missed a three-year deadline to build the embassy.

The embassy signed the lease for the new land in 2008 and received construction approval in 2011 to replace its old facilities at its Canberra headquarters.

The new building, about 1 kilometer from parliament, has not been completed 15 years on, and they remain in their previous headquarters about 3 kilometers away.

Australia has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine on various occasions and has applied sanctions against more than 1,000 leaders, businessmen and organizations in the country. It has sent military aid, one of the most significant outside of NATO, as well as humanitarian aid. EFE


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