Quad leaders reaffirm commitment, Australia asks tech giants to block Russia

By Jackson Graham

March 4, 2022

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison undermined the constitutional doctrines of representative and responsible government. (File photo, AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

A meeting between the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US has led to a warning that what is happening in Ukraine can never be allowed to happen in the Indo-Pacific. 

A statement from the leaders following the meeting said they “convened to reaffirm their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states is respected”. 

They also affirmed all countries should be free from military, economic and political coercion. 

Prime minister Scott Morrison said the leaders were committed to an Indo-Pacific region in which smaller states did not need to live in fear of more powerful ones. 

“We cannot allow what is happening in Ukraine now to ever happen in the Indo-Pacific,” he said. 

Of the four quad nations, all except India have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. New Delhi has close defence cooperation with Russia, which supplies India with weapons.

Meanwhile, in further steps Australia is taking to isolate the Russian government, federal communications minister Paul Fletcher wrote to eight tech giants on Thursday asking them to suspend the dissemination of content by Russian state media organisations in Australia. 

“There has been a significant volume of such content promoting violence, extremism and disinformation in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Fletcher said in the letter shared with The Mandarin.

Writing to Meta, Apple, TikTok, Twitter, Snap Inc, Reddit, Google and Microsoft, he said a number of platforms had already taken action in the US and Europe. 

“In Australia, the Special Broadcasting Service and Foxtel recently suspended the broadcast of Russia Today and NTV,” Fletcher said. 

“Given the current actions of the Russian government and the lack of genuinely independent Russian media, these actions are responsible and appropriate.”


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