Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles quickly rejected a call to ban entry to Russian tourists from Australia.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Miroshnichenko, urged the government to follow the example of several Eastern European countries.
Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this month took steps to prevent Russians from visiting on tourist visas to double the pressure on President Vladimir Putin.
But the call was turned down 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’re thinking about right now, but we’re a big part of the global base of sanctions against the Russian regime,” he said.
Australia is eyeing long-term support for Ukraine, but the government insists that how to resolve the “protracted conflict” is up to it.
The federal government committed 60 Australian Bushmasters, 40 of whom were sent to the battlefield.
“Our goal is to enable Ukraine itself to be able to be at the center but this is resolved. This needs to be resolved on their terms,” Mr. Marlis said.
During a meeting in Uzbekistan, President Putin noted Xi Jinping’s concerns about war after a week that saw Ukraine claim 8,000 square kilometers of territory.
Mr. Marles said there was a “degree of humiliation” to Russia over the state of the conflict, but insisted he would not deter China.
“I see them meeting in Uzbekistan as another step in a growing relationship, frankly, between Russia and China,” he said.
“This is part of the landscape of the strategic conditions we have to face.”
When asked what message Beijing should take from the conflict, Marlis noted that people are fighting for their homeland.
“China will be watching this, as I think we are all,” he added.
Marlis says, originally published because Australia has no plan to ban Russian tourists