Thu, 31 Mar 2022 - 10:32
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Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Australia joins our partners in condemning Russia’s unprovoked and unacceptable invasion of Ukraine, which is a gross violation of international law and the United Nations Charter.

Australia is working with NATO and our other partners to provide lethal as well as non-lethal military equipment, medical supplies, and financial assistance to support the people of Ukraine.

Australia’s total military assistance for Ukrainian Armed Forces so far is $91 million. The Government will continue to identify opportunities to provide further military assistance where it is able to provide required capability to the Ukraine Armed Forces expeditiously.

So far Australia has sanctioned 443 Russian individuals, including corrupt oligarchs, MPs, and military commanders who are facilitating Putin’s illegal and violent ambitions, as well as 33 entities, including most of Russia’s banking sector and all entities responsible for Russia’s sovereign debt.

The Australian Government strongly supports the announcements by the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States on further restrictive economic measures against key Russian banks, institutions and individuals.

Together, these measures will impose severe costs on the Russian economy by disconnecting its key banks from the international financial system and disrupting Russian trade and investment flows. They will also paralyse Russia’s foreign reserves and prevent Russian officials and elites from accessing key financial systems.

The Government recently imposed an immediate ban on Australian exports of alumina and aluminium ores (including bauxite) to Russia, which will limit its capacity to produce aluminium – a critical export for Russia. Aluminium is a global input across the auto, aerospace, packaging, machinery and construction sectors, and a critical input into armaments industries. Russia relies on Australia for nearly 20 per cent of its alumina needs.

Furthermore, Australia will support Ukraine’s energy security by donating at least 70,000 tonnes of thermal coal. The assistance will help keep the country’s coal-fired power generators operating and supplying electricity to country’s power grid.

Russia is targeting civilians, causing immense suffering. The Morrison Government recently committed an additional $30 million in emergency humanitarian assistance. This contribution will focus on protecting women, children, the elderly and the disabled, and takes the total we have so far committed to $65 million.

To help address education and critical protection needs for children, people living with a disability and those facing risks of gender-based violence, Australia will provide $10 million through non-government organisations under the Australian Humanitarian Partnership.

We will provide $8 million to the United Nations Population Fund to protect displaced women and girls from gender-based violence and ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services.

To help address increasingly severe food shortages, Australia will also contribute $10 million to the World Food Programme.

To enhance the response of Australian NGOs and their partners in the region, we will provide $2 million to the Emergency Action Alliance Ukraine Appeal – funding which will attract matched private donations.

All Ukrainian nationals in Australia with a visa that is due to expire up to 30 June, will be given an automatic extension for six months.

To help Ukrainians forced to flee from Russia’s military invasion, we will also make available a temporary humanitarian visa to Ukrainians who have arrived in Australia. This visa will be valid for three years and allow people to work, study and access Medicare.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, the Morrison Government has issued almost 4500 visas to Ukrainians. Over 600 Ukrainians with these visas have arrived and more are coming every day.

The Department of Home Affairs has also been instructed to accelerate the conclusion of Ukrainian visa applications to Australia, of which there are approximately 430, and is considering further options for support through our humanitarian, skilled, student, and other visa programs.

The Australian Government remains committed to working in partnership with the Ukrainian-Australian community during this evolving situation, and to ensure those arriving from Ukraine will be provided support throughout their stay in Australia. We have provided a grant of $450,000 to community groups to facilitate their ongoing work.

The Government will continue working closely with the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and our other partners to defend our values and principles and ensure Russia incurs the high price this invasion warrants.