Australian diplomats were ordered to evacuate Ukraine after Russian troops were mobilized into two separate states, Donetsk and Luhansk.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne has accused President Vladimir Putin of deciding to deploy troops pretending to be “peacekeeping”, with Australia “quick and harsh” with the United States, Britain, the European Union and other governments. He said he was cooperating on sanctions.
“The Australian government today condemns President Putin’s declaration that the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine are independent countries,” she said. statement February 22.
“We continue to urge all Australians to leave Ukraine soon. Don’t delay. The safety of Australians and officials is our priority,” she added.
According to the minister, the Australian Embassy’s activities in Lviv were temporarily closed and officials were deployed in eastern Poland and Romania to assist Australians leaving Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes that diplomatic negotiations can prevent escalation.
“Russia should retreat, withdraw unconditionally, return behind the border and stop threatening its neighbors,” he told reporters on February 22.
“It should be understood that it is unacceptable, unprovoked, unjustified, and that Russia does not benefit them by trying to invade other nations, and that it causes serious and serious damage to Russia. Is. “
On February 21, Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. These regions are internationally recognized as being under Ukrainian control.
Later, Russian troops mobilized these states and began to enter the country.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded sharply to the presidential speech.
“Ukraine most certainly sees these last Russian actions as a violation of our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
“All responsibility for all consequences related to the above decision rests with Russia’s political leadership. Approval of the independence of the occupied territories of the Luhansik and Donetsk regions means Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk Agreement. maybe.”
Volodymyr Shakivskyi, head of the Australian diplomatic mission in Ukraine, said the situation was getting worse.
“We still want to find a way out of this situation. Like all countries, we want to stay peaceful and avoid the worst scenarios.” He told ABC Radio on February 22nd.
“Ukraine has no military solution. Ukraine relies solely on political and diplomatic measures to regain these territories.”