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Australian Hazmat Team Inspecting 'Unknown White Powder' Found Near Russian Embassy

© Photo : Embassy of Russia in Australia/facebukEmbassy of Russia in Australia
Embassy of Russia in Australia - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.03.2022
Last week, Australia imposed a slew of new sanctions on Russia, shortly after Moscow began a special military operation in Ukraine aimed at demilitarising and "de-Nazifying" the nation. The operation followed a request for help from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, which saw weeks of ever-increasing shelling by the Ukrainian Army.
A local hazardous materials response (hazmat) team is inspecting envelopes with a "suspicious" substance sent to the Russian Embassy in the Australian capital Canberra earlier on Thursday, 9News has reported.
The Russian diplomatic mission told reporters that the hazmat unit arrived at the scene after two mysterious packages containing an "unknown white powder" were found outside the embassy.

The Australian Capital Territory Police (ACT) earlier confirmed in a statement that the "contents of the package are currently being assessed", adding that a "cordon" is now in place around the embassy and "the public is urged to avoid the area until further notice".

The developments followed Australia slapping new sanctions on Russia last Friday, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledging to work along with Canberra's partners to further "ratchet up pressure" on Moscow.
The sanctions came after President Vladimir Putin on 24 February announced that Moscow had started a special military operation to demilitarise and "de-Nazify" Ukraine, following requests from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) to help protect them from the Ukrainian Army, which has intensified the shelling of the Donbass republics' positions and infrastructure in recent weeks.
Russia's move prompted backlash from the US and its allies, who have intensified sanctions against Moscow, specifically targeting the Russian financial sector, as well as the country’s businesses, cultural organisations, and state-run media outlets, including Sputnik and RT.

In the latest development, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky told reporters that the second round of talks between Moscow and Kiev to tackle the Ukraine crisis is slated for later on Thursday in the Brest region, of Belarus. He added that ceasefire-related issues are expected to be high on the agenda.

Earlier this week, Medinsky said that during the first round of the negotiations in Belarus, the two sides managed to find some points of contact from which common positions can be built on.
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