Acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan supports Russia, Belarus flag ban

Victoria’s Acting Premier has spoken out in support of the Australian Open’s decision to ban both Russian and Belarusian flags from being displayed at the tournament.

Jacinta Allan made the comments during a press conference on Tuesday morning, saying the course of action was the correct one after the “abhorrent” invasion of Ukraine.

“This is the right move. This is a good move from Tennis Australia,” she said.

Ms Allan said the flag ban would support Ukraine’s effort in the war.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is abhorrent. It breaches international human rights obligations. It’s been enabled and supported by Belarus,” she said.

“This step is an important one. It sends a very, very clear message that human rights is important, whether it’s in sport or more broadly in our community.”

Australian Open organisers banned both countries’ flags witnessed on day one of the tournament after a Russian flag was displayed during match between Russian and Ukrainian players.

Kateryna Baindl was facing off with Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova during the first round when the flag’s appearance sparked outrage on social media.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Vasyl Myroshnychenko was also quick to ensure they ban was put in place.

“I strongly condemn the public display of the Russian flag during the game of the Ukrainian tennis player Kateryna Baindl at the Australian Open today,” Mr Myroshnychenko tweeted.

“I call on Tennis Australia to immediately enforce its ‘neutral flag’ policy.

One of Ukraine’s top players, Marta Kostyuk, said she would not shake hands with Russian or Belarusian players if facing off with them in a match.

“I don’t really talk to anyone,” she said of Russian and Belarusian players,” she said.

“I barely say ‘hi’ to them.”

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