The highest court in Australia has turned down a request from Russia to keep a piece of property in the nation's capital. The site in question was designated to be the location of Russia's future embassy in Australia. Midway through the month of June, the government decided to end Russia's tenure for reasons related to national security, which resulted in a legal challenge.
The proximity of the proposed embassy to the parliament, according to the opinions of various specialists, creates the risk of espionage. After the verdict, a Russian diplomat who had been squatting in protest close to the site left in a car from the embassy. The demonstration had been taking place near the site.
The existing Russian embassy in Canberra is situated in a location that is somewhat removed from the federal parliament building. In 2008, Moscow was able to secure the tenancy for the new location, and in 2011, the city was given authorization to build its new embassy at that location. On the other hand, on June 15 of this year, the Australian parliament hurriedly passed new regulations that were designed to terminate the lease.
When presenting the legislation, the Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, noted the intelligence services had offered very clear security advice regarding the threat presented by a new Russian presence so close to Parliament House. Albanese was referring to the fact that the warning had been provided by the intelligence agencies. A spokesperson for the Kremlin named Dmitry Peskov described Australia's move to break up the lease as another example of the Russophobic hysteria that is currently sweeping the West.
A request by Russia for an injunction to keep ownership of the Canberra property pending a more substantive challenge to the laws was submitted by Russia just the week before. Russia claims in its lawsuit to the court that it has already spent $8.2 million Australian dollars (£4.3 million, $5.5 million) on construction, which has been moving along very slowly. It was suggested by Russia that the integrity of the building, which was only partly finished, would be jeopardized if Australia were allowed to return.
The High Court of Australia, on the other hand, determined that Russia's challenge to the decision was "weak" and "difficult to comprehend," and it issued an order requiring Russia to evacuate the site. According to the statements made by Justice Jayne Jagot, the interlocutory injunction that was requested by Russia does not have a solid ground.
There is a clear sovereign interest on the part of the Commonwealth in preventing the land from being taken by Russia. The previous week, Mr. Albanese was quoted as saying that he anticipated some retaliation from Russia but was not concerned about the legal challenge. He stated that recently, Russia had not been doing a very good job of adhering to legal standards.
Mr. Albanese stated, Given Russia's consistent and flagrant disregard for international law in its invasion of Ukraine, they do not anticipate it to be in a position to discuss it.