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Russia suffers legal setback in Australian embassy standoff

“The court has made clear that there is no legal basis for a Russian presence to continue on the site at this time,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters.

“We expect the Russian Federation to act in accordance with the court’s ruling.”

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

But the Australian government announced last week it was tearing up that agreement.

Australia’s parliament passed laws specifically aimed at stopping a Russian embassy from being built on the site, which sits about 400 metres from the parliamentary precinct.

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

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

Albanese on Monday also announced a new package of military assistance for Ukraine – including 28 M113 armoured personnel carriers and an undisclosed amount of 105mm howitzer rounds.

“We support international efforts to ensure Putin’s aggression fails and that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity prevails,” Albanese said.

The package did not include Hawkei light armoured patrol vehicles or more Bushmaster infantry vehicles – both of which Ukraine had requested.

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