Remarks at the National Press Club today by Ambassador of Ukraine, Vasyl Myroshnychenko and Kateryna Argyrou, representing the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, delivered a powerful message today – Ukraine needs support from Australia.

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Simon Birmingham said the stark message delivered today reiterated the desperate calls Ukraine has been making to the Albanese Labor Government for over a year.

“It is time the Albanese Government ditched its excuses and started delivering a comprehensive strategy to respond to Ukraine’s needs,” said Senator Birmingham.

“For too long Ukraine’s pleas for substantial assistance have fallen on deaf ears. And when the Albanese Government finally does provide some support, it seems to delay announcements in order to coincide with anniversaries or key events, possibly as a distraction to its dwindling level of support to Ukraine.

“It is misleading of the Prime Minister and his Government to call Australia the largest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine – these claims are false and it will be shameful if the Prime Minister is delaying assistance which is urgent need now, in order to use NATO later this year as a late opportunity to announce the next package.

“As Ms Argrou told the Press Club, additional assistance is only useful if it is on the ground and delivered to the front line quickly.”

Once again Ambassador Myroshenychenko and Ms Argrou reiterated the requests made by Ukraine, for which the Coalition calls on the Albanese Government to address immediately.

If Labor claims they cannot deliver, then they must explain why:

  • A request by President Zelensky 12 months ago for the Australian embassy to reopen in Kyiv has been ignored even though over 80% of foreign missions which closed at the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion have now been reopened for six months.
  • The new Australian ambassador to Ukraine has failed to step foot in the country after being in the job for three months.
  • The decision to decommission Taipan helicopters has not been reversed so they may be donated to Ukraine.
  • Pleas for shipments of coal have continually been ignored that would assist in year-round energy supply for Ukraine.


“This Labor Government is lacking the gumption to urgently deliver a comprehensive package which reflects Australia’s ongoing commitment to Ukraine and ensures long-term, multi-year sustainable Australian support,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Australia must remain steadfast in our support of Ukraine.”