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'There would be no invasion': The act that could've prevented Russia's war on Ukraine

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a powerful address to the Australian Parliament on Thursday, calling for tougher sanctions against Russia and citing the failure to hold Russia accountable for MH-17 a pivotal moment resulting in Ukraine's invasion.

"If the world has punished Russia in 2014 for what it did, there wouldn't be any of this terror of invasion in Ukraine in 2022," Mr Zelensky said via video link on Thursday night.

"The unpunished evil comes back, and I would say...with inspiration. With the feeling of all-mightiness.

"If we punished Russia for what they did...there would be no invasion."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the House of Representatives via a video link talking about Russia's invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the House of Representatives via a video link at Parliament House in Canberra. Source: AAP (AAPIMAGE)

Mr Zelensky was met with a standing ovation when he spoke to both chambers of Parliament, thanking Australia for their support but saying there is so much more that can be done.

"If we can count on the support of the free world, on your support, on your assistance," he said via a translator.

"We need it not just in a couple of months, we need it urgently now."

The impassioned speech follows addresses to the United States, the European Union and the UK urging for more international support against Russia's invasion.

The Ukraine president also indicated that Russia's aggression could be a real threat to Australia.

"That is the nature of evil - it can instantly cross any distance, any barriers, destroy lives," he said.

What Zelensky wants from Australia

In his address, Mr Zelensky said Russian ships should be banned from all international ports and called for "powerful sanctions" to be enforced until Russia stops "blackmailing other countries with nuclear missiles".

"We can and should do more," he said. "They have to pay the highest price for blocking the sea."

The Ukrainian president asked for access to Australian military vehicles like the Bushmaster to help the country defend its territory.

"That could help Ukraine significantly – we would be very grateful if you could share those with us," he said.

"If you have an opportunity to share this with us. We'd be very grateful".

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia will provide a further $25 million of defensive military equipment for Ukraine to help the country's military forces against Russia's invasion.

The package – which includes tactical decoys, unmanned aerial and ground systems, rations and medical supplies – was announced ahead of Mr Zelensky's address.

Scott Morrison speaking.
Scott Morrison announced Australia will provide a further $25 million in defensive military equipment for Ukraine. Source: AAP (AAPIMAGE)

'We do not stand with the war criminal of Moscow': Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke before Mr Zelensky's address, telling the Ukraine president they have "our weapons or humanitarian aid, our sanctions against those who seek to deny your freedom, and you even have our coal".

"Here today in the home of Australia's democracy, we welcome you, Mr President, as a lion of democracy."

Mr Morrison also told the Ukraine president "we do not stand with the war criminal of Moscow" – choosing not to speak Putin's name.

"Mr President, I know that man. You know that man. We know that man and we know his regime," he said during his address.

"We have seen them unleash unspeakable horror against your children, your hospitals and shelters. And we remember the downing of a civilian airline carrying 209 innocents, including 38 Australians, and we remember them also on this day."

with AAP

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