Australian PM Announces $74 mln in Military Aid to Ukraine

Australian PM Announces $74 mln in Military Aid to Ukraine

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced further military aid to Ukraine in a statement released on Monday.

"Following President (of Ukraine Vladimir) Zelensky’s request for further support, Australia will provide the following new package of assistance to Ukraine: A$99.5 million ($67.8 mln) in military assistance, including 14 armored personnel carriers, 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles and other military equipment supplied by Australia’s defense industry, and a contribution to NATO’s Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund," the statement said, TASS reported.

That brings Australia’s total military assistance to Ukraine to approximately A$388 million ($230.6 mln), the prime minister said.

Australia will also allocate A$8.7 million (US$5.9 million) to assist Ukraine’s Border Guard Service to upgrade border management equipment, improve cyber security and enhance border operations in the field, Albanese said.

The country will provide duty free access for Ukrainian imports to Australia and "will intervene at the International Court of Justice in support of Ukraine in its case against Russia," he stated.

"My visit to Kiev 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," the prime minister said.

He said Australia will prohibit imports of Russian gold and impose sanctions on some Russian ministers.

Australia by now has introduced sanctions on 828 Russian and Belarusian nationals, including the presidents of the two countries, over the events in Ukraine. It also sanctioned 47 Russian entities, banned exports of weapons and components, raw materials and equipment to produce oil and gas and limited imports of Russian energy, weapons and ammunition.

On February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. The West retaliated to the Russian decision by imposing sanctions on the country.

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