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Australia will seek to terminate lease of new Russian embassy

By Alex Stambaugh

(CNN) — The Australian government is introducing legislation to terminate a lease of a new Russian embassy near Parliament House in the capital Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Thursday.

“The government has received very clear security advice as to the risk presented by a new Russian presence so close to Parliament House,” Albanese told reporters in a televised press conference.

The land proposed for the second Russian embassy lies directly adjacent to Parliament House, Australian Home Minister Clare O’Neil said alongside Albanese.

“We’re acting quickly to ensure the leased site does not become a formal diplomatic presence,” the prime minister said. He said the decision was taken “in the national security interest of Australia.”

“The government condemns Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine,” he added.

The prime minister said that coalition leadership had been briefed and would be supporting the legislation. Crossbenchers in the House and Senate and the Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr have also been briefed, Albanese added.

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