Sydney, Australia, Jun 4 (EFE).- Australia said Monday that it will provide an additional 34 armored vehicles to Ukraine and prohibit Russian gold imports following Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to the country, where he met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The AU$99.5 million ($67.9 million) military assistance includes 14 armored personnel carriers and 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, among other equipment, the Australian prime minister’s office said in a statement on Monday.
During his visit on Sunday, Albanese also toured the towns of Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, where he “saw first-hand some of the devastation caused by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” the statement said.
“President @ZelenskyyUa has shown bravery and leadership emblematic of his people in the face of Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion. My visit to Ukraine sends a clear message that democratic nations like Australia will stand with the Ukrainian people in their time of need,” Albanese tweeted on Monday.
Australia, the non-NATO nation that has provided the most military aid to Ukraine, also pledged AU$8.7 million to improve border controls and cybersecurity while also promising duty-free access for Ukrainian imports.
The Albanese administration said that it will intervene at the International Court of Justice in support of Ukraine in its lawsuit against Russia and will impose new financial sanctions and travel bans on another 16 Russian ministers and oligarchs.
Since the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, Australia has pledged around AU$388 million in military aid to Ukraine, including 40 Bushmasters and dozens of M777 howitzers and ammunition.
It has also provided humanitarian aid, in addition to imposing sanctions on more than 850 individuals and entities from Russia and its ally, Belarus, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials, military commanders and businessmen. EFE