Ukraine crisis: Anthony Albanese considers invitation from President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Kyiv

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Anthony Albanese is considering whether to accept an invitation from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for an ‘historic’ visit to Kyiv, as first revealed by The West Australian.

The Prime Minister said he learnt about the invitation when he read about it in the newspapers, though the offer was extended by Ukraine’s embassy soon after he was sworn-in.

The first opportunity to visit the Ukrainian capital would be at the end of this month when Mr Albanese travels to a Nato summit in Madrid.

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“I read about that this morning in the paper,” the PM said when asked about Mr Zelensky’s invitation after Friday’s National Cabinet in Canberra.

“I will take appropriate advice and obviously there are security issues as well in terms of such a visit. I appreciate the spirit in which it has been offered.

Camera IconUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Credit: twitter/supplied

“One of the reasons why Australia has been invited to NATO is that Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to give support to Ukraine in its defence of its national sovereignty against Russia’s illegal, immoral invasion and we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine.”

Overnight, Moscow blacklisted Seven West Media boss Kerry Stokes and The West Australian’s Editor In Chief Anthony De Ceglie in retaliation for criticising its war against Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Government sanctioned 121 Australian citizens, including business people, army officials and journalist — accusing them of promoting a “Russophobic agenda”.

Other names on the list included WA mining magnates Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Simon Trott, as well as ABC chair Ita Buttrose, News Corp co-chair Lachlan Murdoch and South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas.

Mr Malinauskas said: “I am very grateful for the fact that Vladimir Putin has paid attention to the leading role that South Australia is playing in trying to stand up for the democratic values that we collectively as a country hold dear.”

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