Providing military equipment rather than training to Ukraine should be Australia’s priority, shadow foreign minister Simon Birmingham said recently.
He urged the Prime Minister to deliver “swiftly” the remaining 20 of 60 Bushmaster combat vehicles promised by the former government.
“There are outstanding requests made by the Ukrainian government that have been voiced by Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia and those requests deserve to be responded to as swiftly and comprehensively as possible,” he told Sky News.
The comments came as Anthony Albanese considers a request to send Australian troops to Europe to help train Ukraine soldiers.
Birmingham said sending troops should be a secondary consideration for the government behind supplying more military hardware.
“That is where Australia should be putting the priority in terms of its response,” he said.
“Assisting in other potential ways such as training, knowledge, information, they are all possibly valuable but there are clearly urgent and pressing needs for Ukraine in the short term and they go to some of those equipment arrangements.”
The Ukraine war, which has been going for months, escalated when the bridge connecting Crimea and Russia was destroyed, leading to dozens of retaliatory missile attacks on Ukrainian cities on Monday.
The Prime Minister has labelled Russia’s missile attacks as “appalling” and affirmed Australia’s support of Ukraine.