Australia has given Ukraine an additional A$100 million in military aid, and Anthony Albanese has pledged that Australia will continue to support the beleaguered country “for as long as it takes to ‘Ukraine emerges victorious’.
Albanese inspected the devastated areas in and around the capital Kyiv, visiting the towns of Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, and met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a visit that concludes his trip to Europe.
But he did not say when Australia might reopen its embassy in the war-torn country. He said Australia wanted to do this as soon as possible, subject to security advice.
Albanese, who traveled by train from Poland to Ukraine, met with Zelenskyy for two hours on Sunday, and they held a joint press conference.
The latest military aid brings Australia’s total military aid to Ukraine to around $388 million. Australia is Ukraine’s largest non-NATO defense contributor.
The new package includes:
military aid worth $99.5 million, including 14 armored personnel carriers, 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles and other equipment provided by the Australian defense industry, as well as a contribution to the NATO assistance fund for Ukraine
$8.7 million to help upgrade border management equipment, improve cybersecurity and improve border operations
duty-free access for Ukrainian imports to Australia, complementing similar trade measures taken by other countries
Australian intervention at the International Court of Justice to support Ukraine’s case against Russia
financial sanctions and travel bans for 16 other Russian ministers and oligarchs
ban on imports of Russian gold into Australia – again in agreement with partner countries.
“Russia’s brutal invasion is a flagrant violation of international law,” Albanese said. “I saw with my own eyes the devastation and trauma he inflicted on the Ukrainian people.”
“My visit to Kyiv and recent visits by other world leaders send a clear message that democratic nations like Australia will stand with the people of Ukraine in these difficult times.
“President Zelenskyy’s leadership has rallied the Ukrainian people to defend their country and inspired the world to support humanity and freedom. The road ahead is difficult, but I am confident that Ukraine will prevail.”
The Prime Minister described Ukraine as fighting for the international rule of law. “We saw residential buildings that came under brutal missile and other weapon attacks,” he said. “It is clear that civilian areas have been targeted by Russian forces in this illegal and amoral war.”