A Sydney council has thumbed its nose at Russian diplomats and thrown its support behind Ukraine in a “powerful” way.
A Sydney council has passed a motion to rename the street that is home to the Russian consulate in a nod of support to the citizens of Ukraine.
Woollahra councillors agreed to change the street’s name from Fullerton St to Ukraine St. If the new name is approved, the council would join a global initiative protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The diplomatic building has been the site of numerous pro and anti-Russian rallies since Ukraine was invaded in February.
It took two hours of debate for the majority of councilors to agree on the name change, which has gained the support of Australia’s Ukrainian Embassy.
The length of the meeting could be put down to questions surrounding consultation with people living on Fullerton St.
“I know the people who live in Woollahra and the people who live around the consulate are very keen to make their position clear,” councilor Luisa Elsing told the council.
“If you have the power to do something to support the people of Ukraine, you should do it.”
The council received more than 300 letters in support of the motion and more than 1,000 signatures from online petitions.
One letter signed by the Ukrainian Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires Volodymyr Shalkivskyi called the plan a “powerful act of support for Ukrainians”.
“We have to do everything in our power, it’s as simple as that,” said councilor Matthew Robertson, who seconded the motion.
The proposed change has to be approved by the state’s Geographical Names Board, which is responsible for authorizing title changes.
Woollahra Council has been targeting the Russian consulate since the war in Ukraine began.
Councillors last month stripped street parking permits from the consulate and returned car spaces to the general public.
Woollahra Council would join a global movement to rename the streets surrounding Russian embassies and consulates.
In London, there are calls to rename Kensington Palace Gardens “Zelenksy Ave” in honor of Ukraine’s president.