Australian Embassy
Russian Federation
Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Australia-Russia Relations

Australia-Russian Federation relationship




Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2015 G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey
Photo: G20 (modified by the Australian Embassy, Moscow)




Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the United Nations, New York
Photo: DFAT (

Contact between Australia and Russia began in 1807, when the Russian naval vessel Neva arrived in Sydney. Consular relations began in 1857 and formal diplomatic relations in 1942. Australia established an Embassy in Russia in 1943 and has Consulates in Vladivostok and St Petersburg. The Russian Federation has an Embassy in Canberra, a Consulate-General in Sydney and Consulates in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. Approximately 74,000 Australians claim Russian ancestry, according to the 2011 Census.

Australia and Russia engage in a number of important international fora dealing with economic cooperation, regional security and non-proliferation issues. Russian students are also eligible to apply for Endeavour Award scholarships under the Australia Awards. Cultural cooperation between Australia and Russia has a long history. In 2015, the National Gallery of Victoria hosted the hugely popular Masterpieces from the Hermitage Museum: The Legacy of Catherine the Great exhibition.

President Putin became the first Russian leader to visit Australia when he attended APEC Leaders' Week in September 2007. He visited again for the G20 Summit in late 2014.  In November 2015, Prime Minister Turnbull spoke briefly with President Putin at the G20 Summit in Turkey. Prime Ministers Gillard (2012), Hawke (1987) and Whitlam (1975) all visited Russia during their time in office.

In 2012, a photographic exhibition was held to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations.  To learn more about the establishment of relations, and about the photographic exhibition itself, click here.  To view the exhibition photos, click here.

Read more about Australia's bilateral relationship with Russia here.