March 26, 2018

Two Russian intelligence officers expelled from Australia

It has now been confirmed by Australia's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister (see Media Release below) that two Australia based Russian intelligence officers, under diplomatic cover, will be expelled by the Australian Government. 

This Australian expulsion action is Australia’s international response following the almost certain Russian government poisoning of former Russian spy (defector) Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury, UK.

So far 21 countries have expelled 130 Russian intelligence officers as part of the international response.

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[AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT] MEDIA RELEASE, 27 March 2018.

 "Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Defence and National Security, International and Trade

Together with the United Kingdom and other allies and partners, Australia is taking action in response to the recent nerve agent attack in Salisbury, UK.
Two Russian diplomats identified as undeclared intelligence officers will be expelled by the Australian Government for actions inconsistent with their status, pursuant to the Vienna Conventions.  The two officials will be directed to depart Australia within seven days. 
This decision reflects the shocking nature of the attack – the first offensive use of chemical weapons in Europe since World War II, involving a highly lethal substance in a populated area, endangering countless other members of the community.  
It takes into account advice from the UK Government that the substance used on 4 March was a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. Such an attack cannot be tolerated by any sovereign nation. We strongly support the call on Russia to disclose the full extent of its chemical weapons program in accordance with international law.
This attack is part of a pattern of reckless and deliberate conduct by the Russian state that constitutes a growing threat to international security, global non-proliferation rules against the use of chemical weapons, the rights of other sovereign nations and the international rules-based order that underpins them.
Australia has had strong sanctions in place since 2014 in response to Russia’s threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We also continue to support international efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the downing of MH17, and we have called out unacceptable Russian action in cyberspace. In the same way, we will vigorously back the UK’s full investigation of the nerve agent attack.
Australia remains committed to acting with its allies and partners to deter Russia’s actions where they are a threat to international security.

This is why the Government is overhauling offences for espionage, secrecy and treason, and for the first time establishing powerful new foreign interference offences in legislation currently before the Parliament."

PETE COMMENT
It remains to be seen if (or how) Russia may retaliate against Australia... 

In an Australian ABC TV interview at 12.15pm, March 27, 2017: Australia's Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister commented that Australia is expecting Russia will retaliate by expelling Australian diplomats [2?] from Moscow. They also commented Australia's Embassy, Moscow, is preparing for this Russian action.

Pete

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The US has kicked out a number of Russians from the Seattle Washington area, that is home to Navy subs, various ships and bunkers filled with nuclear weapons. Even though many are being sent home, there are still information collectors hidden among the population, still collecting data that have worked with the Russian 'diplomats' for eons. Sail on sail on sailor

Peter Coates said...

Yes Anonymous.

The US has indeed closed down the Russian Consulate, Seattle, as well as expelling 20 odd Russian intelligence officer "diplomats" elsewhere in the US.

Not only was the Seattle Consulate too close to the US Navy Bangor (Washington state) nuclear missile submarine SSBN base, but too close to the US's largest SLBM (nuclear weapon) stockpile and to all the aviation secrets of the Boeing, Seattle, headquarters factory.

Russian intelligence officer "diplomats" also run non-diplomatic cover "illegal" information collectors [1] who may live around Seattle/Bangor. Some possibly even being in the US Navy.[2]

[1] Non-diplomatic illegals like in "The Americans" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Americans_(2013_TV_series)

[2] recalling the Walker Naval Family Spy Ring https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Anthony_Walker

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

I wonder why Russia did not send Mr. Skripal before a firing squad when he was caught, if he had compromised 300 of their spies? why wait until now?

I does seem abnormal that all of his immediate families are dead.

KQN

Peter Coates said...

Hi KQN

Yes, other than it was the Russians who tried to poison double agent Skripal, there are so many complexities and inconsistencies to the Skripal tale.

I've just published a new article of March 28, 2018, on “Russian Intelligence and TRIPLE AGENT Skripal”

see http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2018/03/russian-intelligence-and-triple-agent.html

Regards

Pete