The Coalition welcomes today’s announcement of a number of important diplomatic appointments, including Australia’s next Ambassador to Ukraine.


Mr Paul Lehmann brings extensive experience as a senior diplomatic representative of Australia, including experience in challenging postings.


A striking gap in today’s announcement was the complete silence in Minister Wong’s statement on the question of where Australia’s Ambassador to Ukraine will be based.


The Coalition continues to call on the Albanese Government to reinstate Australia’s Ambassador and the Australian embassy to Ukraine, in Kyiv.


By not reinstating the Australian embassy to Kyiv the Albanese Government is out of step with much of the rest of world, including Australia’s top diplomatic partners.


Around 70 other countries have reopened their embassies since initial closures in February 2022 and, with partners willing to assist in providing a secure environment, there is no excuse for the Albanese Government not to do the same.


Reopening Australia’s embassy in Kyiv would send a strong message reinforcing Australia’s commitment to Ukraine’s defence and the defence of the international rules that we all rely upon.


By not having an ambassador in residence, as diligent as any official may be, they will still be challenged by not being able to participate firsthand in the briefings and accounts of local authorities.


Australia has previously managed to establish and operate embassies in challenging environments like Afghanistan and Iraq. As previous governments have done, the Albanese Government should collaborate with like-minded partners to provide a safe and secure embassy in Kyiv.


The Coalition again confirms our solidarity with Ukraine and continues to provide bipartisan support for the Albanese Government to act quickly and ensure further support is available on the ground in Ukraine as soon as possible.