Ukraine has appealed desperately to Australia to “step up support” in its continued effort against Russia’s illegal invasion.
Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko said tension was mounting and “could get worse before it gets better”.
His comments come after Russia threatened to use “all necessary means”, including nuclear war, which has been widely condemned and called a violation of the UN charter.
With his threat, Russian President Vladimir Putin this week mobilized 300,000 reservists to join the war, prompting a mass exodus from the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the United Nations General Assembly this week, calling for more help to push back against Russia – a plea Mr Myroshnychenko reinforced.
“It’s very important to step up support for Ukraine, and the people of Ukraine are extremely grateful,” Myroshnychenko told ABC News.
“You recently saw footage of Bushmasters liberating Kharkiv, and President Zelenskyy thanked Prime Minister Albanese during his visit to Ukraine in early July. We need more because it’s getting tough.
“We need more artillery and combat drones and more Bushmasters.
“(Our fighters) need bulletproof vests, guns, the right weapons to be able to fight. Motivation is pretty high, morale is high. We stand for democracy.
“It is important to continue this support from all corners of the world, including Australia.”
Defense Minister Richard Marles said his government is working closely with the Ukrainian government to put them in a position where they can win.
“We imagine that the conflict with Ukraine will eventually drag on and that Ukraine will need long-term support from countries,” he said.
“This is how we say we have been one of the largest non-NATO contributors to Ukraine so far.
“We are working with the Ukrainian government and we will ensure that we provide support to Ukraine so that it is able to finally resolve this conflict on its terms.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said there was “too much bureaucracy” in the department which was slowing down the process.
“There is no doubt that Richard (Marles) is dealing with this from the department. We want to get equipment, support and defense material into Ukrainian hands as soon as possible,” he told the Nine Network. .
“As you pointed out, when we were in government we provided quarter of a billion dollars in support. I want to make sure that continues and we will support the government in those actions.”
Mr Marles said he was working “very quickly” to provide support for Ukraine.
“We will continue to work closely with the Ukrainian government to explore ways to provide support on an ongoing basis,” he said.
Originally published as Australia urged to do more to help Ukraine as Russian effort threatens to go nuclear