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Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia urges Anthony Albanese to visit his country

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko has strongly encouraged Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to make a war-time visit his country.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said he appreciates an offer from to come to Ukraine, but would need to consider advice and take into account security concerns before responding.

Mr Myroshnychenko said an Australian prime minister had never visited Ukraine, and Mr Albanese’s presence would signal a welcome “sign of solidarity”.

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“We never had a prime minister from Australia so if this trip transpires it’s going to be a historic visit,” he told SBS News.
“That would mean a lot to Ukraine given how much Australian people are supporting Ukraine now. When is the best time to visit Ukraine – if not now, when?”
Mr Albanese has recognised the invitation, but said “security issues” needed to be considered.
“I will take appropriate advice and obviously there are security issues as well in terms of such a visit,” he said on Friday.
“I appreciate the spirit in which it’s been offered.”

The invitation to Mr Albanese comes as French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi began a joint visit on Thursday to show support for Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

The three arrived in the Ukrainian capital early on Thursday after travelling together overnight in a train used to transport high-profile visitors to Ukraine.
“It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians, of support, to talk both about the present and the future, since the coming weeks, as we know, will be very difficult,” Mr Macron said as they arrived.
Mr Macron, who had been criticised at home and abroad for not travelling to Ukraine earlier, had repeatedly said he would only go if and when the visit could be “useful” and not be just a symbolic show of support.

In April, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also made a visit to Kyiv to meet with Mr Zelenskyy to offer support for the country’s war effort.

Mr Albanese will travel to Madrid at the end of this month for a NATO summit, which will be focused on providing support to Ukraine.

“One of the reasons why Australia has been invited to NATO is that Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to give support to Ukraine in its defence of its national sovereignty against Russia’s illegal, immoral invasion and we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine,” he said.

Mr Myroshnychenko thanked Australia for it’s assistance in humanitarian aid defence, noting Australia could also support in rebuilding the country in the long term.
“To help us with the rebuild of the infrastructure of Ukraine, maritime infrastructure, also other critical infrastructure, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals,” he said.
Since Russia’s invasion, Australia has supported Ukraine including , on top of tens of millions of dollars worth of humanitarian assistance.
In March, Mr Zelenskyy , saying Australia’s support to Ukraine was valued and necessary.

“This country [Russia] started a full-fledged war against us. They’re shelling cities and villages, they are killing our civilians and children,” he said through an interpreter.

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He thanked Australia for its support, including an additional $25 million in defensive military equipment announced by then-prime minister Scott Morrison ahead of the address.
“We know that our dream is undefeatable and indestructible, especially if we can count on the support of the free world, on your support [Australia], on your assistance. We need it urgently,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has labelled the invasion a “special military operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and its allies say Russia launched an unprovoked war.
Mr Myroshnychenko said he understood the “security concerns” around a visit from Mr Albanese were “legitimate”, but believed they could be overcome.

“[It] would be a sign of solidarity, sign of support that the whole world is standing with Ukraine,” he said.


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