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Abbott government cancels Russia visits

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· Ukraine on ‘brink of disaster’

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Russia’s “unprovoked aggression” in Ukraine has no place in the world.

The government summoned Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov on Monday to explain his country’s decision to allow troops into Crimea, a region of Ukraine with strong historic ties to its powerful neighbour.

Mr Abbott says the envoy was told “in no uncertain terms” about Australia’s concern regarding Russia’s actions.

“Unprovoked aggression should have no place in our world,” he told parliament during question time.

“Russia should back off, it should withdraw its forces from the Ukraine and people of the Ukraine ought to be able to determine their future themselves.”

Mr Abbott said Trade Minister Andrew Robb had cancelled a planned visit to Russia in light of the developments.

A visit to Australia by a Russian national security adviser would also not go ahead, he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told the chamber he supported the government’s moves.

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