Australia looking for new ambassador to Ukraine but no plans to reopen embassy

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky last month urged Canberra to reopen its embassy in Kyiv at a televised dwell information convention immediately after this masthead revealed a prolonged office protection stand-off amongst Edwards and senior bureaucrats in DFAT had held the nation’s embassy in Kyiv shut.


The country’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, also revealed that Australia was missing out on direct access to delicate briefings and info by not possessing a diplomat on the ground in Kyiv.

In a assertion, DFAT claimed it “regularly advertises expected overseas vacancies to interior workers, which include for Ambassadorial and other senior level appointments”.

It verified that Australia’s Ukraine mission was working out of an entirely individual building to that of the embassy staff in Poland because of “space constraints”.

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham explained the time was “well overdue” to reopen the embassy in Kyiv thinking about the overwhelming greater part of overseas missions had reopened previous 12 months.

He mentioned it would ship a “very bad message” for the new ambassador to be appointed but unable to consider up their post in Kyiv.

“We want an Australian ambassador doing work as securely as doable in Kyiv, capable to secure information and facts and undertake briefings in human being to ideal advise our assist for Ukraine against Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion,” Birmingham said.

“We have managed complicated situations more than the many years, together with with embassies in Afghanistan and Iraq that shipped the sensible gains of representation, even in environments of terrific complexity.

“The Albanese Labor federal government ought to be far more than capable of acquiring a way, irrespective of whether it is in partnership with the United kingdom, Canada or other folks, to make sure Australia has risk-free but successful illustration.“

Australia’s previous ambassador to Britain, George Brandis, mentioned the conclusion not to return to Kyiv demonstrates a “culture of chance aversion which is these types of a element of DFAT”.

“Australian embassies have been staffed in international locations during wartime extremely normally – for illustration in Afghanistan the embassy in Kabul was basically attacked by the Taliban,” he claimed.

“The simple fact that an embassy may perhaps be located in a nation which is engaged in a war is no motive why the Australian embassy should really not be staffed. A judgement has to be manufactured about the immediacy of the threat.”


Brandis, who also served as attorney-standard in the former Coalition federal government, said the truth that quite a few journalists have long gone to Ukraine, like from Australian media organisations, confirmed that diplomats could be despatched back.

“If it’s fantastic adequate for journalists to settle for heading into a country which is at war … in a city which is not on the frontline in which there have been negligible casualties or accidents, why isn’t it fantastic more than enough for diplomats who are intended to symbolize Australia’s pursuits?

“And it is frankly uncomfortable, in watch of what President Zelensky has said inquiring for Australia’s return, that we have not completed so when our allies and partners have.”

Brandis reported he could not remark on no matter whether Australia’s office health and protection guidelines have been much more stringent than other nations, but DFAT’s claim “tells you what is on their mind”.

He stated that DFAT staff members had been questioned to keep on being in nations around the world these types of as Britain in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, irrespective of hundreds of individuals dying from the virus just about every working day, suggesting the chance of dying was considerably increased in that circumstance.

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