Ambassador calls on Chinese President Xi Jinping to end the conflict

 Ambassador calls on Chinese President Xi Jinping to end the conflict

Mr Myroshnychenko said China could use its influence as the world’s largest buyer of commodities to pressure Moscow, after Russia suffered a sudden collapse in the past few days in the north-eastern Kharkiv region following a Ukrainian advance.

“Now China has to pay double price because prices for oil, gas, iron ore – even the iron ore they buy from [Australia] – they have to pay a higher price because markets change,” Mr. Myroshnychenko said.

“So, it’s not really in the interest of China to see this war carried on. Geopolitically they are winning because they make Russia weak. They also force Russia to sell gas and oil at a big discount. They use Russia as a resource. Russia is one eighth of the size of the economy of China, so it’s the little brother.”

Power shift

On Sunday (AEST), Ukraine’s main nuclear power plant, now controlled by Russian troops, was safely shut down after it was reconnected to the electricity grid, authorities said. Shelling had forced the shutdown of its powerlines, leaving it reliant on diesel generators for important operations, such as cooling.

“I’m concerned because it’s under Russian occupation. They’ve had inspectors from the UN having a hard time getting in. The Russians have been shelling that area around the nuclear power plant, there was actually a disruption of the supply of energy,” Mr Myroshnychenko said.

“Basically, there is the possibility of a mistake. This is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe with six reactors, imagine if that blew up; this is going to be much worse than Chernobyl.”

Australia has worked closely with Ukraine and provided military equipment, including 60 Bushmaster armored vehicles. Australia’s total military support to Ukraine has been more than $385 million. Last week, Mr. Myroshnychenko also lobbied the Albanian government to send a fleet of 30 new protected mobility vehicles, known as Hawkeis, to the war zone.

Ukraine ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko. Louie Douvis

The Australian government has lifted all tariffs on Ukrainian products for 12 months to support its economy, and Mr Myroshnychenko said there were other opportunities to help.

“I really want to get some major agreements signed, like agreements on double taxation. Just a very basic example. Somebody sent me an email the other day; a self-employed, web designer. She worked with an Australian company. Charged $1000. And the company withheld 30 percent of that money to pay the tax because we don’t have this agreement.

“If we have this agreement, she as a private entrepreneur in Ukraine pays flat tax or 5 percent. There are many of those self-employed web designers, marketing designers people in social media, promotion and marketing … many [freelancers] are from Ukraine.”

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