Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, last night issued a statement supporting British PM Theresa May over Britain’s accusations that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury a week ago.
The statement said: “UK Prime Minister May has made a compelling case on the responsibility of the Russian State for this attack in an unlawful use of force by Russia against the United Kingdom and her people. She described the Russian response as demonstrating the Russian Government’s complete disdain for the gravity of these events, responding with sarcasm, contempt and defiance.
“Australia stands with the UK in solidarity and supports, in the strongest terms, We support her Government’s commitment to ensuring a full investigation and efforts to bring those responsible to justice. The Australian Government also supports the UK Government’s right to take retaliatory measures, including its decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats and to call for an emergency session of the UN Security Council.
“Australia is considering its responses in support of the United Kingdom, in close consultation with the UK Government and other partners.”
New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters has issued a statement refusing to accuse Russia of any involvement in the poisoning beyond manufacturing the poison. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said nothing.
Our traditional allies are aghast at our stance on Russia. A useful tweet puts it in context:
2014: Russia invades & annexes Crimea. The National-led Govt suspends FTA talks with Russia.
2018: Russia helps shoot down MH17, is donkey deep in Eastern Ukraine, backs Assad’s murderous regime, uses chemical weapons in the UK. Winston Peters wants to reopen FTA talks.#nzpol
— Gwynn Compton (@gwynncompton) March 14, 2018
It is time for this Government to have some integrity and condemn the Russian use of chemical weapons in the United Kingdom and rule out progressing the FTA with Russia.
Where are the principled Greens on this? Aren’t they against chemical weapons? WIll they call out Russia on this or are they also too scared of Winston?