Australian senator tells France and Germany to ‘get off your arses’ after visiting Ukraine

By defence correspondent Andrew Greene – Posted 22h ago

Senator David Van says tanks are among Ukraine’s biggest needs. (Supplied: Senator David Van)

An Australian senator who has just completed a tour of war-ravaged areas of Ukraine has blasted Germany and France for not providing enough support to Kyiv’s fight against Russia’s illegal invasion.

“Countries like Germany and France need to get off their arses, to put it colloquially, and do more,” said Victorian Liberal David Van, who is also demanding Australia immediately reopen its embassy in Kyiv.

“One of the things the Ukrainian army needs most is tanks, particularly if there’s going to be a counteroffensive in [Russian occupied] Kherson.”

Speaking to the ABC from Europe, Senator Van said he had spent several days in regions such as Donbas, speaking to Ukrainian soldiers serving on the frontline and inspecting some of the armoured Bushmaster vehicles that were donated by Australia.

The backbencher — who co-chairs federal parliament’s Ukraine-Australia Friendship group — says he’d like to see more federal government support provided to the besieged nation.

“Australia is doing a bit. I think we can do more, but there are countries close to Ukraine that aren’t doing nearly enough,” Senator Van said.

“The thing that’s going to win this war for them is better technology … they’re very much after Western technology that’s going to help them, which is why the Bushmaster is so celebrated.”

As well as more weapons, the senator has suggested Australia could also provide Ukraine with humanitarian supplies, such as such as flat-pack housing.

“Winter is only a few months away and there’s a lot of people without housing still inside the country,” Senator Van explained.

“I’d call on mining companies to provide any dongas that they’re not using that could be shipped easily — Ukraine’s going to need an awful lot of help to get through the winter, otherwise a lot of people will die.”

During his week-long visit, Senator Van says, he didn’t meet any Australians who had joined the Ukrainian military but he says that any foreigners contemplating taking up arms against the Russians would be “welcomed”.

“I wouldn’t encourage them to go and fight. I don’t think that’s my position but, if people choose to, that’s up to them. I know they would be welcomed.”

Government sources have previously indicated to the ABC that as many as 200 Australians may have travelled to Ukraine to fight against Russian forces, in breach of formal advice.

Shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February, Australia relocated its diplomats from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, to a temporary embassy in the western city of Lviv.

Days later, then-foreign minister Marise Payne announced that Australian diplomats had been evacuated from Ukraine and deployed to Poland and Romania to conduct consular duties.

Over recent weeks, several nations, including the United States, have reopened their embassies in Kyiv but Australia is yet to do so, despite Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to the city last month.

Liberal Senator David Van is calling on the Australian government to reopen its embassy in Ukraine.(Supplied: Senator David Van)

Senator Van has called on the Albanese government to immediately reopen its embassy in Kyiv and to send several military representatives to the mission to study the Russian invasion.

“I ran past the Australian embassy — it’s there, it’s fine. Kyiv is quite safe, the Canadians are back in the same building,” he said.

“One of the things that we need to happen very quickly is for our ambassador to go back and to take with him, not just a defence attaché, but [also] as many defence people as he can because there’s a lot to be learnt, militarily, from what’s happening there right now.”

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said the government was considering the matter.

“The Australian government is considering a range of operational, security and safety issues regarding the reopening of our embassy in Kyiv and the return of our ambassador and diplomatic staff,” the department said in a statement.


  1. “Australian senator tells France and Germany to ‘get off your arses’ after visiting Ukraine”

    Nice! But, can you convince gutless cowards not to be gutless cowards anymore? Or, is it just greed that make France and Germany like they are? Is it kompromat? Is a little bit of everything?

    • Those two leaders of France and Germany don’t represent their countries very well because they’ve always been in favor of skirting sanctions and encouraging Ukraine to bow down and kneel before the Moskali Fuhrer.
      In Ukraine they have a saying, “Ukrainians only take a knee before God and their wives.” There is one more added to that list lately and that is their deceased heroes when they return home. Putler ain’t on that fucking list and Macron and Sholtz should take notice!

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