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Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Page: 6374


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:48): I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

Senator FIFIELD: In relation to the motion for which formality was denied, I want to make clear that the Australian government is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine brought about by Russia's sustained and deliberate violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. In announcing increased sanctions against Russia to the level of the United States, the European Union and Canada, the government has shown that it is prepared to act in defence of freedom, international law and the Ukrainian people's democratic right to decide their own future free from intimidation.

The government believes that complex foreign policy issues, however, should not be addressed through simple motions such as Senator Ludlam's. The Greens have consistently shown themselves to be unable to deal with important foreign policy matters such as the provision of humanitarian assistance and military equipment to the Kurdish regional government in Iraq.

I can advise the Senate that Australia is not currently exploring uranium to Russia and the government will not approve any new contracts for the export of uranium to Russia while the Russian government continues to violate Ukraine's territorial sovereignty. (Time expired)