SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

31 March 2018

EXPULSION OF AUSTRALIAN DIPLOMATS FROM RUSSIA

Russia’s expulsion of two Australian diplomats is disappointing and without justification.

The use of a banned Russian nerve agent in Britain was an outrageous attack that demanded a response from the international community.

Australia’s decision to expel two Russian diplomats working as undeclared intelligence officers in support of our close friend and ally, the United Kingdom, was an appropriate and proportionate response.

The Russian Government must understand there are real consequences for engaging in attacks on foreign soil and refusing to tell the truth about them.

We have to act in the way that we believe is in Australia’s national interest, and on this occasion that was sending a strong signal that we reject Russia’s action and we stand with our friends and allies.

Labor offers our full support to the Australian diplomats and their families whose lives will now be disrupted by Russia’s unfair and unjustified retaliatory action.

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.