Australia announces new $74 million aid package to Ukraine

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By Webdesk

The money will be used to supply new military vehicles and artillery ammunition, but money will also be sent for humanitarian needs.

Australia, one of the largest non-NATO contributors to Ukraine, will send another 70 military vehicles to Ukraine as part of its latest military aid package for the country.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the Australian $110 million ($73.5 million) package on Monday, telling reporters the plan was being considered ahead of the weekend’s uproar in Russia.

The pack includes 28 M113 armored vehicles, 14 special operations vehicles, 28 medium trucks and 14 trailers, as well as an additional supply of 105mm artillery ammunition.

“Australia is unwavering in our determination to condemn and counter Russia’s actions and to help Ukraine achieve victory,” Albanese said.

Defense Secretary Richard Marles said he was “proud” of the additional support Australia provided.

“We expect this to be a protracted conflict and that is why we will support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” he told reporters.

The package, which did not include the lightly armored Hawkei patrol vehicles or more Bushmaster infantry vehicles requested by Kiev, comes as Ukraine continues a counter-offensive to drive Russian troops out of areas they have occupied in the east of the country.

Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern military command, said the army had advanced at least 600 meters the previous day near Bakhmut, a town taken by Wagner forces in May after months of fighting. The Russian Defense Ministry said there had been at least 10 attacks in that area, which they repelled.

Australia will also extend duty-free access for goods imported from Ukraine for a further 12 months to support the recovery and trade opportunities, the statement said.

The additional pledges bring Australia’s total contribution to supporting Ukraine to AUD 790 million ($529 million), just over three-quarters of that in military aid.

However, an additional Australian $10 million ($6.7 million) will be earmarked for the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, a United Nations-led fund to address the urgent needs of millions of Ukrainian citizens caught up in the conflict.

Secretary of State Penny Wong said support for Ukraine is important because the principle that “one big country cannot simply change another country’s borders is important to all of us”.

She said this was something she had emphasized to counterparts in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, according to the Age newspaper.

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