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War should end on Ukraine’s phrases: Marles

Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles says Australia is not actively considering banning Russian tourists following the invasion of Ukraine, with the war needing to be “resolved” on Kyiv’s terms.

Mr Marles, who is also the defence minister, said Australia’s goal was to “empower” Ukraine so it could be at the “centre” of an end to the conflict.

“This needs to be resolved on their (Kyiv’s) terms, that has to be the outcome given the unprovoked aggression that we saw from Russia,” he told the ABC on Sunday.

When asked if Australia would ban Russian tourists from entering the country, Mr Marles said sanctions were not focused on the people themselves.

“This is not something that we are considering at the moment, but we are very much a part of the global base of sanctions against the Russian regime,” he said.

When asked if Australia would support Ukraine in its efforts to retake Crimea from Russia following the peninsula’s annexation in 2014, Mr Marles said that Moscow’s aggression “cannot be allowed to stand”.

When queried if Australia would provide more military support to Ukraine amid calls for more aid to help the country solidify its gains against Russia, the acting prime minister said the government will be having an “ongoing conversation” about how to do that.

Mr Marles said there was no “hold up” of military support committed to Ukraine – including Bushmasters and armoured vehicles – with the program “on schedule”.

Asked why the government hadn’t reopened the Australian embassy in Ukraine when about 60 other nations have done so, Mr Marles said it was being worked through, with logistic and security concerns.

Mr Marles said the lesson China should take from Russia’s invasion, was that the international community would band together in the face of unprovoked aggression.

“I hope they and the world sees that there are countries across the world that want to uphold the global rules based order, that critically matters,” he said.

“China, I’m sure is watching this, as we all are.”

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