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Australia will not ban Russian tourists but plans to reopen its embassy in Kyiv | Australian foreign policy

Australia will not ban Russian tourists from entering the country, as requested by the Ukrainian ambassador, but is “assessing” whether to reopen the Australian embassy in Kyiv.

Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles also said on Sunday that Australia was considering sending additional military aid to Ukraine to bolster existing commitments.

“We have to prepare for a protracted conflict and based on that, we understand that we’re going to have to provide support for Ukraine over the long term,” Marles told the ABC’s Insiders program.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, has called on Australia to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian travelers – in what would be an escalation in sanctions.

“I call on the Australian government to ban the issuance of tourist visas to Russians, but continue to issue refugee visas to those fleeing brutal autocracy,” the ambassador tweeted alongside a newspaper article. Nine in which he said: “The Russian people are responsible for this war… so they must take responsibility for it.

“More than 80% of Russians support this genocidal war in [Ukraine]all Russians must therefore be held responsible for the crimes against humanity committed in [Ukraine] just as Germans were held responsible for Nazi crimes,” Myroshnychenko tweeted.

3/ The majority of Russians hate democracy, human rights and freedom of the press like any western nation. Watch Russian TV for a week and you’ll understand where Australia stands in its public discourse: “A totally decadent GayEurope-influenced puppet of Washington…”

— Vasyl Myroshnychenko (@AmbVasyl) September 18, 2022

But Marles rejected the ambassador’s suggestion.

“We have put in place a series of sanctions and our sanctions are focused on the Russian government, those who commit what happened in relation to Ukraine, and not on the Russian people themselves,” he said. -he declares.

“It’s not something we are considering at the moment, but we are really part of the global basis for sanctions against the Russian regime.”

Coalition MP Dan Tehan – the shadow immigration minister and former coalition minister – tweeted on Sunday: “We should do everything we can to support Ukraine at this difficult hour.

The Australian Embassy in Kyiv remains closed despite dozens of other nations returning to the Ukrainian capital to resume diplomatic operations. Marles did not set a timeframe for the reopening of the Australian embassy, ​​but said it was under consideration.

“There’s a lot of logistics and support that’s needed in that regard, given the security situation, but it’s something that will be continually assessed,” he said on Sunday.

“It was a relatively small embassy…we need to assess and make sure we can provide security so it can function as it should.”

Marles said he would not give details of additional military aid, but signaled that more may soon be on the way.

“We will provide more support and we will have an ongoing conversation with Ukraine,” he said. “We are looking for ways to continue this.”

The federal government says Australia’s support for Ukraine is one of the strongest among non-NATO countries. Marles said Canberra had pledged 60 Bushmaster military trucks, 28 armored vehicles, unmanned aerial drones and six Howitzer artillery systems, among other contributions, and the donations were “on schedule”.

Myroshnychenko urged the Albanian government to do more, suggesting Australia’s newly built Hawkei four-wheel drive vehicles could be sent to the combat zone.

Marles has repeatedly mentioned that the Australian government wants to help Ukraine “finally resolve this conflict on its own terms”, declining to comment directly on Kyiv’s calls for Russia to leave the disputed Crimea region.

“This is an unprovoked act of aggression by Russia. It cannot be allowed to stand and Ukraine must be put in a position where it can determine this on its own terms. said Marles.

“We can understand that if you are [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskiy, there is a long way to go. It is about empowering the Ukrainian government. As I told European leaders a few weeks ago, this is also their point of view. They want to make sure that Ukraine is able to determine this on its own terms.

theguardian Gt

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