A call to ban Russian tourists from Australia was quickly dismissed by Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, has urged the government to follow in the footsteps of several Eastern European countries.
Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this month moved to ban Russians from traveling on tourist visas in a bid to pressure President Vladimir Putin.
But the appeal was dismissed by Mr Marles who noted that it should be the regime, not the Russian people, who feel the brunt of foreign governments.
“It’s not something we are considering at the moment, but we are really part of the global basis for sanctions against the Russian regime,” he said.
Australia is considering long-term support for Ukraine, but the government insists that the resolution of the “protracted conflict” depends on them.
The Federal Government committed 60 Australian-built Bushmasters, 40 of which were sent to the battlefield.
“Our goal is to empower Ukraine to be at the center of whatever is resolved. This must be resolved on their terms,” Mr. Marles said.
At a meeting in Uzbekistan, President Putin voiced Xi Jinping’s concerns over war after a week in which Ukraine claimed 8,000 square kilometers of territory.
Mr Marles said there was a “degree of humiliation” for Russia over the state of the conflict, but insisted that would not deter China.
“I see their meeting in Uzbekistan as another step in a growing relationship, to be honest, between Russia and China,” he said.
“It’s part of the landscape of strategic circumstances that we have to deal with.”
Asked what message Beijing should take away from the conflict, Marles noted that people are fighting for their homeland.
“China will be watching this, as I assume we all are,” he added.
Originally published as Australia has no plans to ban Russian tourists, says Marles