Exceeding speed limits, unauthorized parking, traffic violations: in fifteen years, Russian diplomats have collected tickets during their travels in Australia, but apparently refuse to pay. And that bothers Canberra a bit.
In total, the value of the bill is approximately $90,000 (about 82,000 euros), according to statements by the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, for which the head of protocol, Ian McConville, sent an official letter to the government at the end of 2022. The Russian ambassador. The purpose of the letter was to settle matters discreetly, without going through the press, but it went unanswered.
He wrote to Ambassador Alexey Pavlovsky: “We would be grateful if you would remind your divisions and the persons responsible to them of their responsibilities, under Article 41.1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.” The article in question asserts that “without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, all persons who benefit from such privileges and immunities must respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State.”
The list is long
Diplomatic immunity enjoyed by Russian officials (and others) does not allow them to be prosecuted for traffic offenses or unpaid fines. On the other hand, the Australian authorities can deduct points from licenses, suspend them and stop the registration of diplomatic plates until fines are paid. In the face of Russia’s silence, Australia appears determined to take action, particularly by making the facts public.
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Members of Russian diplomacy even managed to …