Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky called off his visit to Australia on Thursday, saying he's too busy to come.

Zhirinovsky, who this week was expelled from Bulgaria and barred from visiting Germany, contacted the Australian embassy in Moscow and said he would not be filing a visa application after all.Foreign Affairs Department spokesman John Campbell said Zhirinovsky indicated he was too busy to make the trip.

Zhirinovsky planned to visit Australia next week, just as mutliparty negoiations begin in Moscow before the opening of the Russian parliament on Jan. 11.

The aide who picked up visa application forms from the Australian embassy in Moscow late last week said Zhirinovsky wanted to visit a niece living in Sydney and wanted a rest after the election campaign.

But the Australian embassy also heard Zhirinovsky was planning political activities, including a news conference and dinners.

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Zhirinovsky, whose far-right Liberal Democrats won 24 percent of the vote in the Russian election earlier this month, has shocked Europeans and the world with his comments on expanding Russia even beyond the borders of the old Soviet Union.

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