SYDNEY, July 7. /TASS/. Relations between Moscow and Canberra "have reached probably the lowest point in decades," Russian Ambassador to Australia Alexey Pavlovsky said in an interview with the ABC radio station.
"I wish I could say something positive about Russian-Australian relations, but they have reached probably the lowest point in decades," he pointed out. "I think whatever cooperation we had, has been destroyed by the Australian side without really giving much thought to what Australian interests were just for the sake of moving in lockstep with its allies and this is really sad," the envoy added.
Pavlovsky noted that Canberra was focused on providing military aid to Kiev and viewed Moscow "as an enemy," ignoring the fact that the Ukrainian army kept targeting "cities far from the frontline" and "deliberately and discriminately bombing the cities killing civilians". The envoy stressed that a military operation was underway "to protect people in Donbass and to protect the security interests of Russia," which had been "arrogantly ignored by the West." Pavlovsky added that Australian media coverage of the conflict had been one-sided.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories and the goal was to demilitarize and denazify the country. In response, the West imposed major sanctions on Russia. Australia has so far blacklisted 843 Russian individuals, including President Vladimir Putin, and a number of major entities and organizations. In addition, Canberra banned the export of weapons, commodities and oil and gas extraction equipment to Russia, as well as the import of Russian energy, weapons and ammunition.