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Maeve Bannister

Albanese pressured on more Ukraine support

Richard Marles (left) and Anthony Albanese inspect Bushmaster vehicles being made in Bendigo. (Stuart Walmsley/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the Australian-made armoured vehicles bound for Ukraine are critical to the nation's military effort against the Russian-made war.

But he is facing pressure to step up Australia's military and economic support to the nation.

Next month marks one year since Russia invaded Ukraine and the United States and Germany have announced they will provide additional tanks, with Poland, Finland and the Netherlands expected to make similar commitments.

Australia has already provided about $655 million in support for Ukraine, including $475 million in military assistance.

This includes a total of 90 Bushmaster armoured vehicles which transport troops.

Up to 70 Australian soldiers have joined partner nations in the United Kingdom to train Ukrainian troops in infantry tactics and military skills.

Mr Albanese said the Bushmasters already provided by Australia had made an enormous difference to Ukraine's resistance to Russia's invasion.

"(Bushmasters are) on the ground making a difference each and every day to the defence of that nation," he told reporters in Bendigo on Friday.

"(The war) is a struggle not just for the people of Ukraine, but a struggle for the rule of law internationally and for the rights of sovereign nation states to continue to exist."

Ukraine Ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko said his nation was grateful for the assistance so far, but support would need to be sustained if Ukraine was to win against Russia.

"The reason why we need to step up this assistance is because this war in Ukraine is disrupting everything," he told ABC Radio.

"It's really undermined security regionally, globally and it's having a major impact on (Australia's) partners here in the region.

"We've seen the impact on the energy markets, on the volatility of the commodity markets, so it's really in the interest of Australia to help Ukraine win and to help Ukraine be rebuilt."

Mr Myroshnychenko warned a Russian success in Ukraine would have wider implications for the rest of the world.

"If (Ukraine) lose it will embolden many other leaders here in the (Asia-Pacific) region," he said.

"It will really undermine the whole international rules-based order, and it will really hurt the interests of Australia."

The ambassador also urged Australia to support non-military programs including a Ukrainian grain export program which would assist poorer nations in the Asia Pacific facing food insecurity.

A "Grain from Ukraine" program was launched by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to encourage developed countries to purchase its food for poorer nations.

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