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Tony Abbott in Kyiv calls for more support for Ukraine from the Albanese government

“None of the Hawkei light-armoured cars that the Ukrainians want to use as mobile missile launchers even though we’ve 1000 of them in stock too.

“I know that the Australian government wants us to remain Ukraine’s best friend in Asia and I’m confident that the Prime Minister Albanese won’t go to the coming NATO summit without a big new arms package to help keep Ukrainian soldiers alive as they seek to reclaim their homes.”

Former PM Tony Abbott addresses the Kyiv Security Forum.

Former PM Tony Abbott addresses the Kyiv Security Forum.Credit: Indychii Oleksandr

Abbott savaged the decision to keep Australian ambassador Bruce Edwards in Warsaw, Poland, despite all Western allies reinstating their diplomatic embassies in Kyiv in a show of support and solidarity.

On the one-year anniversary of the invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky directly pleaded with Australia’s diplomats for them to return to the capital.

“I do expect that our ambassador will swiftly return to Kyiv, from Warsaw, as it’s so out of character for Australians to huddle in safety when there’s work to be done,” he said.

He said Ukraine was fighting for all smaller nations threatened by dictators, and cited Taiwan as an example.


“There’s not the slightest doubt that Beijing is watching what happens here, weighing what it might do across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

“In that sense, Ukrainians are fighting not just for their own freedom but for the freedom of every smaller nation threatened by a larger neighbour.”

Abbott was prime minister when flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by three pro-Russian separatists killing all 298 people on board including 38 Australians. He famously threatened to shirtfront Putin over it.

“For me, Putin’s war on Ukraine has long been personal,” he said. “And I have never ceased to thirst for justice for those Australians cast into eternity because the Russian dictator could not bear to see an independent Ukraine.

“I have never ceased to want freedom and democracy for Ukraine, a country yearning to be rid of the bondage of Moscow.”

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