Anthony Albanese urged to visit Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv

“This new government of ours, which is doing rather well on what it says about foreign and defence policy so far, needs to remember that our immediate region needs to be their absolute priority.”


Dibb said the focus on the region should be the “iron cast” factor in shaping the Force Structure Review being planned by the Department of Defence to consider the country’s military capacity.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo will visit Ukraine and Russia next week after attending a G7 summit in Germany that concludes on Tuesday, with the TASS news service in Russia saying he was due to be in Moscow on Thursday.

The NATO summit begins in Madrid on Wednesday to consider a transformation of its military operations, especially on its eastern flank, with leaders attending from all key members of the North Atlantic alliance including United States President Joe Biden.

In a rare expansion of the talks outside the formal session of NATO allies, the group will be joined by Albanese as well as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

One issue on the agenda is the security pact signed by Russia and China in the weeks before the invasion, raising implications for the Indo-Pacific region.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Kyiv last Friday with an offer to Zelensky to provide military training for 10,000 soldiers and an assurance that the United Kingdom would provide the “strategic endurance” the Ukrainian people needed.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi were in Kyiv the previous day and visited villages near the capital where officials are pursuing war crimes investigations over the massacre of civilians.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute executive director Justin Bassi said it was vital for Australia to make it clear that it backed Australia against the breach of sovereignty by an authoritarian regime.

“The prime minister going to both the NATO summit and Ukraine would show that Australia is joining democratic nations in a collective show of force to stand up against authoritarian regimes,” he said.

“Security in Europe is now relevant for security in the Indo-Pacific.”

Lowy Institute executive director Michael Fullilove said Australia had a “huge stake” in the outcome of the war because it was a test of the international order.

“The invasion of Ukraine has been the greatest disruption of the international order since the Second World War and that has implications for us because we’ve enjoyed the benefits of that international order,” he said at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

“A Russian victory would make invasions like this more common. It would be big win for countries that challenge the international order. So I think we have a big stake in it and I would encourage Prime Minister Albanese to visit,” he said.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

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