The failure of the United States and Russia this week to find a diplomatic solution to fizzing tensions over Eastern European security has increased the chance of a new Russian attack on Ukraine even if full-scale war is far from inevitable, analysts say. - Even if Russia opted for military action, it may not come down to a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Putin could look to responses such as deploying Russian missiles in the separatist-controlled Donbass region of eastern Ukraine or Crimea, according to the prominent Russian security analyst Maxim Suchkov.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the government is mindful of 1400 Australians in Ukraine as 100,000 Russian troops on the border and threaten the peace in eastern Europe.
"But there have been no requests made and none are anticipated."
The secretary of Australia's foreign affairs department, Kathryn Campbell, also discussed the Ukrainian situation, along with peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and ongoing support for Tonga with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
"They highlighted their ongoing commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's unprovoked military buildup," a readout of the meeting said.
Video: Tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine (Sky News Australia)
"Deputy Secretary Sherman and Secretary Campbell reiterated their commitment to continuing to advance peace, security, and prosperity to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific."
Kiev wants air demares and warships: the traffic light is arguing about weapons exports - but Ukraine already has allies
The meeting between the two came as the UK's defence and foreign affairs secretaries landed in Australia to hold ministerial talks with their counterparts - the first in the country since the pandemic began.
Speaking ahead of his meeting with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the UK continued to have one eye on Ukraine and Europe and one eye on the Pacific.
"The UK will play a big role in trying to deter Russia in whatever action they're thinking about in regard to the Ukraine," he told Sydney radio station 2GB.
"That is a huge concern for the UK and for the world at the moment and everyone is watching closely."
Foreign Minister Marise Payne spoke with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday, saying Australia would support US and European action to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine.
"I reaffirmed Australia's steadfast support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Senator Payne said on Twitter following the call.
Australia's ambassador to Ukraine, Bruce Edwards, was more resolute, saying the country would be prepared to use additional autonomous sanctions if warranted.
Putin Is So Dangerous Now Because This Is His Last Chance to Seize Ukraine .
Russia’s sudden escalation around Ukraine has taken some by surprise, but the logic behind it may be deceptively simple: This winter could be Russia’s last chance to attack Ukraine. Russian military forces are amassed to Ukraine’s east, north, and south, and Ukraine’s leadership is making preparations for war. The Biden administration believes that an invasion is imminent, evacuating the U.S. embassy and readying forces to be deployed. The greatest logistical barrier to Russia’s advance is mud, and that may be frozen over before long.If Putin acts he will be inviting a cavalcade of sanctions and even military resistance from the West.