| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Australia: Russia loses court bid over new Canberra embassy

On Monday, the High Court of Australia rejected a petition for an injunction that sought to prevent Russia from being evicted from a location in the capital city of Canberra, where they intended to construct a new embassy. Australia had barred Russia from building the embassy at that site due to concerns raised by intelligence agencies, which suggested that the location could potentially serve
High Court Justice Jayne Jagot said that Moscow’s challenge was “weak” and “difficult to understand.”

Last week, the Russian Embassy launched an injunction to temporarily hold onto the land.

The embassy said it had “no comments” on the Monday ruling.

Russia bought the lease to the land from the Australian government in 2008 and was granted approval to build its new embassy there in 2011.

Australia deems new Russian embassy site ‘security risk’
The Australian government announced last week that it was canceling the lease, with parliament passing a law preventing a Russian embassy from being built on the site.

The site is located close to Australia’s parliament.

Media had reported that a Russian diplomat was squatting at the site. Russia’s lawyer, Elliot Hayde, said the man was a security guard.

“The government has received very clear security advice as to the risk posed by a new Russian presence so close to Parliament House,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

“We are acting quickly to ensure the lease site does not become a formal diplomatic presence.”

Russia currently has an embassy in the Canberra suburb of Griffith, which is located further away from Parliament House.

  • DW