Sunday Feb 05, 2023

PM Anthony Albanese sees destruction in low-key visit to Ukraine towns


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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has visited war-torn Ukraine, the Labor leader adding a side trip on his way home from Paris on Sunday.

Details of the Ukraine visit have not been officially revealed.

The trip follows an invitation in June from Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, to Mr Albanese to visit the nation’s capital Kyiv.

Reuters reported that Governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram that Mr Albanese visited the towns of Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel, where Ukraine says Russia committed atrocities against civilians.

Russia denies the allegations.

“Australia supports Ukraine and wants to see justice meted out for the crimes committed here,” Mr Kuleba quoted Mr Albanese as saying.

Mr Kuleba also wrote in a Facebook post: “He was amazed by what he saw: Destroyed civilian houses, traces of mines, destroyed Antonov airport.

“Grateful to the delegation for their personal visit to Kyiv region. The war in Ukraine, in the center of Europe, must remain in the world agenda.”

He said Mr Albanese had said that Australia “supports Ukraine and advocates fair punishment for the crimes that have taken place here”.

Australia has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pledged $285 million of military aid including armoured personnel carriers and Bushmaster vehicles.

During his Europe visit, Mr Albanese indicated Australia would look to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Ukraine. Australian embassy staff have been working from neighbouring Poland since the Ukraine crisis began.

Mr Albanese is expected back in Australia on Tuesday.

-with Reuters





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