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Newsline: Russia threatens taking Australia to court over unfinished embassy dispute

Russia has threatened Australia with legal action after Canberra cancelled Moscow’s lease on a prime plot of land in the Australian capital where it had planned to build a new embassy. The National Capital Authority (NAC) on Wednesday gave Russia 20 days to vacate the site in Yarralumla, one of Canberra’s most expensive suburbs, as it said the embassy had failed to comply with a three-year construction deadline stipulated in a contract signed in 2008. The NAC said in a statement the unfinished works detract “from the overall aesthetic, importance and dignity of the area reserved for diplomatic missions and foreign representation in the national capital”. The organisation added that its decision was based on a “use it or lose it” policy due to the limited availability of diplomatic blocks. “The Russian federation acknowledges they’re in breach of their lease and when we asked them for an indication for a completion date or commitment of funding towards the new embassy they weren’t able to provide it,” NCA chief executive Sally Barnes told Sky News. (https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/russia-threatens-taking-australia-to-court-over-unfinished-embassy-dispute/ar-AA10NjuF) Construction of the compound began in 2011, but has been beset by delays and financial problems.

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