Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, believes that reinstating an envoy in Kyiv would be beneficial for strengthening the relationship between the two nations as the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion nears. Australia’s ambassador has been stationed in Poland for the past year after leaving Ukraine when Russian troops massed at the border. Myroshnychenko believes that Australia could be missing out on vital information and meetings by not having a physical presence in Ukraine. He said that there could be lots of coordination between Five Eyes ambassadors and other meetings for ambassadors that can only take place in person. He also mentioned that being on the ground would enable Australia to better coordinate with G7 countries, as the reliance on foot traffic through Warsaw makes it harder to maintain diplomatic ties.
The Foreign Affairs Department Secretary, Jan Adams, defended her decision to withhold the ambassador from returning to Ukraine despite other nations returning. She said that the situation on the ground had not improved in recent months, with missiles striking Kyiv as recently as last week. Adams stated that the embassy in Poland was operating satisfactorily and Australia was continuing to work effectively with its partners.
Myroshnychenko mentioned that while the decision ultimately resides with the Australian government and the Foreign Affairs Department, he would work towards improving the relationship no matter the decision. Parliamentarians joined the ambassador on the floor of the chamber to express solidarity with Ukraine, with the government flagging that it would not abandon aid to the war-torn country as the conflict drags on. The United States is set to announce further security and economic assistance packages for Ukraine after a meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Germany. The ambassador is due to deliver a speech at the National Press Club on Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion.