Sunday, May 19, 2024

Australia announces new $100m support package for Ukraine

The Australian Government has announced a new $100 million assistance package for Ukraine. 

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, announced the support package during a visit to Ukraine, where he met Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal and saw first-hand the tragic costs of Russia’s unrelenting attacks.

“Australia remains committed to supporting Ukraine to resolve the conflict on its terms,” said Minister Marles.

“I am pleased to announce an additional $100 million of military assistance, including world leading drone technology, with the support of local Australian defence industry. 

“Australia is also providing critical air-to-ground precision munitions and short range air defence systems.

“Ukraine and its people have endured more than two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion but their spirit remains strong. This was reaffirmed during my meeting with Prime Minister Shmyhal.

“Australia is proud to be working with our partners, including Poland, to support Ukraine’s self-defence,” he said.

The funding announcement by the Australian Government includes:

  • A $50 million package of military assistance with the support of Australian defence industry

This includes $30 million towards uncrewed aerial systems, and $15 million towards other high priority equipment, such as combat helmets, rigid hull inflatable boats, boots, fire masks and generators.

  • $50 million for short range air defence systems.
  • The delivery of air-to-ground precision munitions.

The new funding package takes Australia’s military assistance to $880 million since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and brings Australia’s overall support for Ukraine to over $1 billion.

During his visit, the Deputy Prime Minister also met with Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk. 

He visited Armed Forces of Ukraine conducting training, and had the opportunity to tour local defence industry which has been integral in Ukraine’s defence against Russia.

The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated Australia’s commitment to the multinational program to train Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel in the United Kingdom, through Operation Kudu. 

Mr Marles has also visited Poland and met his counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz. 

They discussed the conflict in Ukraine, and its global implications including Russia’s flagrant breach of the UN Charter. 

Deputy Prime Minister Marles thanked the Polish Government for its support of the recent six-month deployment of Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail, which helped protect a vital gateway of international humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine. 

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