Joint media release:

  • Kevin Hogan MP, Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism

Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism, the Hon Kevin Hogan MP said the Albanese Government should have moved earlier on extending the 35% customs tariff on Russia and Belarus.

“I called on the Government to do this more than a month ago, saying on August 3 that with no end in sight to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine with Belarussian support, they had no choice but to extend Australia’s trade sanctions against these regimes beyond this month’s end date,” Mr Hogan said.

“Australia must continue to take whatever measures we can to denounce Russia and Belarus for their illegal aggression. This removal of most favoured nation status and the imposition of this customs duty is such a measure.

“Many Australians are becoming increasingly concerned that the Albanese Government is pulling back on Australia’s commitment to support Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as put in place measures that will support a future rebuild effort.”

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham stated all efforts should be made by the Albanese Government to utilise the mechanisms at its disposal to support Ukraine and extending these sanctions was the obvious course of action.

“While prolonging these sanctions was the only course of action this Government could have taken their delays in implementing a double tax agreement with Ukraine have been more than disappointing,” Senator Birmingham said.

“This is a government which seems incapable of being proactive on these sorts of issues and instead has to be dragged to the table with reactionary solutions that risk coming too late.”

“Australia must continue to send clear and strong messages of condemnation for Russia’s illegal invasion and abhorrent actions against Ukraine.”

The Coalition introduced the 35% customs duty on goods that are the produce or manufacture of Russia and Belarus from 25 April, 2022.