The new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed that he will be attending the NATO summit due to take place in Madrid at the end of June, despite Australia not being a member of the defence alliance.
In an interview with Sky News Australia, the Labor leader would not be drawn on whether he would visit Ukraine during his trip to Europe, which is also due to take him to France.
Albanese will be hoping to use his time in France to repair bilateral relations following French President Emmanuel Macron's furious reaction to Albanese's predecessor's cancellation of a multibillion deal to purchase French submarines last year.
Albanese stressed that his main reason for attending the NATO summit was that Australia was making a greater contribution to Ukraine's efforts to defend itself from the ongoing Russian invasion than any other non-NATO member.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited Albanese to visit Kiev last month as part of his congratulatory message following Albanese's victory in Australia's election.
Albanese won Australia's parliamentary election in May and replaced conservative Scott Morrison as prime minister.
Under Morrison, Australia had already imposed numerous sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.