Sydney, Australia, Feb 24 (EFE).- The Australian government on Friday announced additional military assistance to Ukraine, including the deployment of drones, and new sanctions against Russia on the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.
“The Australian Government will provide additional Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) to Ukraine. These systems provide a battlefield intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they continue to fight,” Defense Minister Richard Marles said in a statement.
The additional military assistance coincides with the graduation of 200 Australian-trained Ukrainian soldiers as part of the UK-led multinational training program.
“They leave with skills and knowledge that will save lives when they take up the fight against Russia,” Marles said.
The Australian government also announced additional sanctions “targeting those in the Russian Government who are helping prolong this war, those financing this war, and those spreading mistruths to justify this war,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.
These include targeted financial sanctions on 40 entities and targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 90 persons, including Russian ministers with responsibilities spanning energy, natural resources, industry, education, labor, migration and health.
Among the sanctioned entities is Kalashnikov Concern, one of Russia’s largest arms manufacturers, the Tupolev aviation company, the Admiralty Shipyards submarine developer and the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau, which designs missiles.
Since the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24, 2022, Australia has imposed more than 1,000 sanctions against Russian companies and representatives, including President Vladimir Putin.
“Australia’s sanctions regime against Russia is our largest. This reflects our support for the people of Ukraine and for the fundamental norms of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wong said.
Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also reiterated his country’s support to Ukraine.
““This is a most somber occasion for the people of Ukraine. One year on from Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful full-scale invasion, the costs of Russia’s aggression are incalculable…We continue to stand with Ukraine,” he said. EFE