New Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday he would seek advice on whether to accept President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s invitation to visit Ukraine on an upcoming trip to Europe.
Albanese will attend a NATO meeting in Spain at the end of this month.
Albanese said he only learned of the invitation to visit Ukraine when he read a newspaper article on Friday.
I will take proper advice, and obviously there are also security issues in terms of such a visit, Albanese told reporters.
I appreciate the spirit in which it was offered and one of the reasons Australia was invited to NATO is that Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor supporting Ukraine in its defense of its national sovereignty against the illegal and immoral invasion of Russia. And we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine, Albanese added.
Zelenskyy gave the invitation when he wrote to congratulate Albanese on his centre-left Labor Party’s victory in the May 21 election, Deputy Head of Mission at the Ukrainian Embassy in Australia Volodymyr Shalkivski said. .
The invitation was for Albanese to visit Ukraine at his convenience, Shalkivski said, and the embassy delivered the invitation to the new administration on June 7.
European leaders are increasingly visiting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv by train from Poland.
Zelenskyy addressed the Australian Parliament via video in late March when Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Conservative coalition was in power. The president called for armored vehicles and tougher sanctions against Russia.
Australia responded by pledging 14 M113 fully tracked armored personnel carriers and 40 Bushmaster armored four-wheel drive vehicles. The vehicles brought the cost of Australia’s defense contribution to Ukraine to A$285 million ($200 million) at the end of May.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)