Home General News Albanian police criticized for delaying response to Zelensky invitation

Albanian police criticized for delaying response to Zelensky invitation

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

In his first month on the world stage, Anthony Albanian received high marks from foreign policy and defense institute members — and some in typography — for exceeding their expectations.

But Mr. Albanian is now criticized for chewing on an overseas engagement, many of which might have taken a slam dunk for a prime minister.

On Wednesday, he appeared to be dodging another question about whether he would accept an invitation to visit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv at the end of this month.

“We will seek advice from the national security services and the Defense Forces and will respond to that advice where necessary,” said Mr. Albanese.

He made similar noncommittal comments a week ago. There is less than a week left until what is likely to be fitting for such a journey, his participation in a historic summit of world leaders in Madrid on the future of NATO.

Albanian police criticized for delaying response to Zelensky invitation

Democracies’ must support each other.’

This has caught the attention of Peter Jennings, former head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“It’s really just strange,” he said.

“It might reflect that he’s very new and a little hesitant.

“I think not traveling for safety reasons will look ridiculous. He could be in and out of Kyiv literally in three hours.

“Democrats should support each other.

“My concern is that China is very much looking to Ukraine to learn and collect lessons for its own designs in Taiwan.”

Mr. Albanian’s ambiguities break with the bipartisan condemnation that followed the Russian invasion and previous government response, including demanding that Russian state television be erased from the internet.

French President Emmanuel Macron with Zelensky in Kyiv. Photo: Getty

Last week, Mr. Albanian said he had only just learned of President Zelensky’s invitation.

But talks in Canberra’s diplomatic circles show that Ukraine’s energetic ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko lobbied hard for a visit even before the election.

“He still hopes of a meeting,” said a source of his latest overture.

Mr. Myroshnychenko has recently tried to deliver a written request from President Zelensky to the PMO. He has not yet arranged a top-level meeting as he increasingly focuses on public appeals.

“If not now, when?” he said about a visit recently

Two days after the election, he told Australian media that the president would soon invite Mr. Albanian to Kyiv. He returned from Ukraine with the paper invitation and, even earlier this month, launched plans for a free trade agreement with the new government.

European leaders in Kiev

Meanwhile, the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy visited the president’s bunker in Kyiv last week, as did Hollywood star Ben Stiller.

President Zelensky met leaders from Germany, France, Italy, and Romania in Kyiv last week. Photo: Getty

A Canberra observer this week said President Zelensky had sought foreign visits “in the same way a fighter collects trophies,” and media coverage had inflated perceptions of the importance of these gatherings.

Boris Johnson has visited Kyiv twice recently after his office was besieged.

The British Prime Minister recently warned that the West must deliver a wave of aid to help defeat Russia and any plans it might have to reach a favorable peace deal through a stalemate.

But in France, a growing part of the rest of the world, there is a competitive focus on a negotiated peace.

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed a $285 million aid package, including a fleet of armored vehicles, saying Vladimir Putin would be too much at a G20 table in Indonesia in November.

Mr. Albanese broke with his predecessor and said such a meeting is too important to miss but noted that President Zelensky would appear via video link.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been tipped to visit Ukraine. Photo: Getty

Indonesian President Joko Widodo late Wednesday announced plans to visit Moscow and Kyiv next week.

As the leader of one of the world’s largest countries with longstanding ties to Russia and a history of foreign policy independence, President Widodo presents himself as a credible peace broker.

The surprise visit by the Indonesian president or the practice of only making unannounced visits to less-favored areas could indicate that Mr. Albanian plans to visit Kyiv another time. But as the pressure mounts, a visit now would involve little cost and easy publicity.

If he continues, Mr. Albanese will take a more independent course on foreign policy but with unchanged objectives.

Former Australian Army chief Peter Leahy told the news that going to Kyiv was not relatively important when Mr. Albanese was already traveling to represent Australia on the future reach of NATO and European security.

“Australians and the Australian government had made their position abundantly clear,” said Professor Leahy, now head of the National Security Institute at the University of Canberra.

“They are against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and watch daily how Russia commits more crimes and atrocities.

“A lot is going on in the field of national security, and the prime minister, I think, is right in devoting a significant amount of his time to NATO business.”

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