Albanese visits Ukraine, pledges more support

By Tom Ravlic

July 4, 2022

Anthony Albanese (left) and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy
Anthony Albanese (left) and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Australia has pledged almost $100 million in military aid to Ukraine, in an overnight announcement from prime minister Anthony Albanese whilst visiting Kyiv, the Ukraine capital.

Albanese met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and reiterated Australia’s support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

The visit is in response to a long-standing invitation from Zelenskyy and was undertaken while Albanese was in Europe attending a range of meetings, including the NATO summit.

The latest package from Australia, which is the largest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine’s efforts to fight Russian forces, includes 14 armoured personnel carriers, 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles and other military equipment.

Australia’s military assistance reaches A$388 million in total with this latest injection of aid.

Assistance is also being given for the policing of Ukraine’s borders, with A$8.7 million (US$6 million) being allocated to assist Ukraine’s Border Guard Service for the upgrading of equipment, improvement of cyber security, and to help with enhancing border operations.

Ukraine will have duty-free access to the Australian market, in a move that mirrors measures undertaken by the UK and EU.

Further sanctions will be placed on individuals, with 16 more Russian ministers and oligarchs being targeted. Imports of Russian gold will also be banned as part of an attempt to limit Russia’s ability to fund its military activities in Ukraine.

Albanese toured several locations in Ukraine and called the bombing of civilian targets “war crimes”.

He said Russia’s invasion was a violation of international law.

“My visit to Kyiv and recent visits by other world leaders sends a clear message that democratic nations like Australia will stand side-by-side with the Ukrainian people in their time of need,” Albanese said

“I sincerely thank president Zelenskyy, the armed forces of Ukraine and the Australian Defence Force for ensuring the safety of my visit.

“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 hard but I am confident Ukraine will prevail.”


READ MORE:

Bushmasters for Ukraine, after Zelenskyy asks for Australian armoured vehicles

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