Australia's Albanese said strong views expressed in Quad meeting on Russia


Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends the Quad leaders’ summit, in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022. Yuichi Yamazaki/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Australia's Prime Minister Antony Albanese said on Tuesday "strong views" were expressed on Russia in a meeting of leaders of the Quad group of countries.

Speaking to reporters after talks in Tokyo between the leaders of the United States, Japan, India and Australia, and before a leaders' statement was issued, the newly installed Australian leader said Russia's invasion of Ukraine "was discussed and you will see reference in the statement".

"The Russian unilateral, illegal, immoral attack on the people of Ukraine is an outrage and the atrocities being committed on innocent civilians is something that we couldn't have expected in the 21st century," he said, citing what he had told fellow leaders about Australia's view.

"Certainly strong views were expressed in the meeting," he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters in Tokyo there was no change to a U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity" on Taiwan, a day after he appeared to stretch the limits of the U.S. line on the island by saying he would be willing to use force to defend it.

Asked about Biden's comments, Albanese said there was "no change" in Australia's position on Taiwan.

"There should be no unilateral change to the status quo," he said.

(Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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