Defiant to new laws, a Russian diplomat has made himself at home at a building intended to be Russia’s embassy in Canberra.
Last week, the government passed legislation through parliament to block the Kremlin’s access to the land it had leased on national security grounds, and today, the Prime Minister confirmed a Russian diplomat was squatting in the building.
The PM would not confirm when they became aware of the squatter but re-assured the issue would be resolved.
“The national security threat that was represented by a Russian Embassy on-site is not the same as some bloke standing on a bit of grass. We don’t see it as a threat to our national security,” Albanese said.
Albanese then brushed off concerns that Russia might challenge the government’s decision to make laws preventing it from using the site for an embassy.
“Now, we actually support the law. Russia has not been really good at the law lately,” he said.
“Their illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine shows its contempt for the rule of law, for national sovereignty and for the way that it conducts its affairs.
“Australia will stand up for our values, and we will stand up for our national security.”
It’s understood he is under the watch of Australian Federal Police officers; however, they are unable to arrest him because he has diplomatic immunity.