At a time when Australia and the international community has joined in condemning the seizure of Ukrainian naval personnel and their vessels and reaffirmed world support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity, it is unacceptable for an Australian newspaper to carry a paid advertisement from Russia defending what are currently disputed war crimes (The Canberra Times, December 21, p15).
The advertisement mocks the international findings that a Russian missile downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing 298 innocent souls including 38 Australians.
In the past few days The Netherlands have demanded Russia accept responsibility and pay compensation.
The Netherlands is considering referring Russia to an international court after reaching an impasse with the Kremlin over responsibility. Australia has added its support.
In a letter dated December 4, 2018, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne reaffirmed Australia’s steadfast support of Ukraine and “robust sanctions in relation to threats against its [Ukraine’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
“Australia is committed to working with its partners to resist Russian conduct when it is inimitable to global security,” she said.
Ukraine has initiated legal proceedings against Russia in the International Courts in The Hague – accusing Russian with Terrorism and secondly the abuse of Human Rights in relation to Russia’s Annexation of Crimea.
For an Australian newspaper to accept payment for Russian propaganda defending internationally-condemned potential war crimes is unacceptable.
Stefan Romaniw OAM, vice president, Ukrainian World Congress; chairman, Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations.