Albanese to shed light on regional security at NATO

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is aiming to meet Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky on the final day of the NATO summit, where attention is also expected to turn to China’s ambitions.

Mr Albanese is in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius as part of a group of four Indo-Pacific nations sharing their concerns with European and other NATO partners about the global impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

NATO members invited Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea to provide insight into broader security challenges such as China’s military expansion.

“What we’ve come to say is that our nations based in the Indo-Pacific believe in the rule of law, that we support national sovereignty, that we support multilateral forums,” Mr Albanese said on Tuesday (local time).

“What happens in one part of the world has an impact in our part of the world and our presence here is a reflection of that.”

Mr Albanese met NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, who said later China “is not our adversary”.

“We should continue to engage,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

However, he added Beijing’s “increasing assertiveness” affected security and challenged the rules-based global order.

Ukraine is seeking to join NATO but has been given no timeline for its admission to the alliance.

However, NATO leaders have agreed on a long-term support package, deeper political ties and further working with Ukraine on its accession which is not expected to occur until the war is over.

Mr Albanese said Australia would be engaged in supporting the people of Ukraine “for as long as is necessary”.

He spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday, who he described as a strong advocate for an “open, prosperous and free” Europe.

Mr Albanese said he offered the French president an invitation to visit Australia.

Anthony Albanese and Rishi Sunak riff on the Ashes

Source: Twitter/Anthony Albanese

Mr Albanese also met British counterpart Rishi Sunak, discussing progress on the AUKUS pact, the free trade agreement and the Ashes.

He spoke with a bipartisan delegation of US senators who will play a role in passing laws to enable the transfer of Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.

Talks with Portuguese leader Antonio Costa focused on trade and working more closely to support the development and security of East Timor.

Mr Albanese and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen signed a strategic partnership agreement covering green energy and security issues.

On Wednesday, he is scheduled to speak at a NATO session and meet with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, as well as Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda.


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