Australia Could Reopen Its Embassy in Ukraine, Says Australian PM

Australia Could Reopen Its Embassy in Ukraine, Says Australian PM
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during a Labor Party Caucus at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on May 31, 2022. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he is looking to reopen the Australian embassy in Ukraine, as the Australian government continues to explore additional ways to provide aid to the war-torn country.

Speaking prior to talks in Spain for NATO, where the Russian invasion is high on the agenda, the PM revealed his government has considered re-establishing a new post over in Ukraine over recent days and weeks.

“We would like to have a presence on the ground there to assist and to be able to provide that on-ground presence. And I’ll have more to say on that in the coming days and weeks,” he told reporters in Madrid on Monday.

Ukraine Invasion ‘Strategic Disaster’ For Putin

Albanese also joined with world leaders to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying Vladimir Putin’s aggression has unified NATO and democratic nations against the Russian government’s actions.

The Australian PM further noted that Russia’s invasion came “just after the was made of a special relationship between Russia and China” which has reinforced the need for leaders in the free world to be engaged.

“We know that the invasion of Ukraine has been a strategic disaster for Vladimir Putin he was expecting to march into Ukraine and for it to be all over well before now,” he said.

“He underestimated the courage and the resilience of the Ukrainian people but he also underestimated what the impact would be on the world.

Albanese is attending the NATO summit as a Asia-Pacific leader, along with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

Calls For More Military Aid

The comment comes after Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia Vasyl Muroshnychenko renewed calls for more military support to combat Russia’s military aggression.
“We need to see more weapons coming into Ukraine, more air defence systems, artillery, ammunition, infantry fighting vehicles,” Myroshnychenko told Sky News Australia on June 23.

The Prime Minister did not reveal whether a new support package had been developed but said Australia was the largest non-NATO contributor in the defence of Ukraine.

Australia has promised to provide 40 Bushmasters to Ukraine, with 20 of those having already arrived. Meanwhile, it has also committed to assisting A$300 million to Ukraine, although not all had yet been handed over.

Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles on Tuesday said the government is looking at additional ways to support the war-torn nation.

“The reason for that is whilst Ukraine is a long way from Australia we really do see the principles which are at stake in that conflict—which is essentially that the global rules-based order that Australia stands for that it has helped to build and protect—needs to protected everywhere,” Marles said in a press conference in Canberra.

“Whilst this is a conflict that is a long way away we see it as one that very much engages Australia’s national interest, we therefore stand with Ukraine against the aggression of Russia and will continue to look at further ways to support them.”

AAP contributed to this report.
Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].