Australian PM Offers Fresh Military Aid To Ukraine During Kyiv Visit
July 03, 2022
During a visit to Kyiv, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pledged that his country will provide additional support to Ukraine in its fight against Russia's full-scale invasion.
Albanese said on July 3 while meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the new military assistance will include 14 armored personnel carriers, 20 Bushmaster armored vehicles, and a number of drones, worth a total of about A$100 million (US$68 million).
Zelenskiy said Australia was giving Ukraine "considerable aid, in particular defense support," and that the Australian-made Bushmaster vehicles were "highly valued." The Bushmaster is designed mainly as a troop-transport vehicle.
Albanese also said Australia would slap sanctions and travel bans on 16 more Russian ministers and oligarchs, bringing to 843 the total number of Russians sanctioned by Australia.
The visit was the first ever to Ukraine by an Australian prime minister. Many Western leaders have also traveled to Kyiv to show support for Ukraine during the war with Russia.
"It is my great honor to be the first Australian prime minister to visit Ukraine," he said.
The trip will "show very clearly to the world the solidarity that exists between the Australian people and the people of Ukraine," Albanese added.
Albanese also visited the towns of Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel, where Ukraine says Russia committed atrocities against civilians. Moscow denies the allegations, despite widespread evidence.
"Australia supports Ukraine and wants to see justice meted out for the crimes committed here," Kyiv Oblast Governor Oleksiy Kuleba quoted Albanese as saying during his visit to the devastated towns.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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