Australia expands Ukrainian support, announces new sanctions
February 24, 2023
Photo: Defence Connect
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles have announced an expanded round of support for the Ukrainian war effort and new suite of sanctions against Russian defence industry organisations.
The Australian government has marked the 12-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, announcing additional military assistance to Ukraine and further costs on Russia, including additional sanctions.
As part of this ongoing support, 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.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “This is a most sombre 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.”
These comments were reinforced by Defence Minister Richard Marles who added, “In response to requests, Australia is providing more uncrewed aerial systems to the Ukrainian government; this support will provide a battlefield intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they continue to fight against the unwarranted aggression of Russia.”
Additionally, today in the United Kingdom, the first rotation of around 200 Ukrainian recruits will graduate from military training supported by Australian Defence Force personnel as part of Operation Kudu, Australia’s contribution to a UK-led multinational training program. The Australian government has imposed further targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 90 persons, and targeted financial sanctions on 40 entities.
The new sanctions targets include Russian ministers with responsibilities spanning energy, natural resources, industry, education, labour, migration, and health. Building on this, the Australian government announced the introduction of sanctions on persons and entities engaging in activities of economic and strategic significance to Russia or that threaten the territorial integrity or sovereignty of Ukraine.
This includes new listings of those perpetuating the Kremlin’s mistruths to shore up support for President Vladimir Putin and key players in Russia’s defence industry, namely:
- Kalashnikov Concern, one of Russia’s largest arms manufacturers;
- Submarine developer Admiralty Shipyards;
- Aviation company Tupolev;
- Missile designer Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau; and
- Infantry-fighting vehicle producer Kurganmashzavod.
“This announcement coincides with the first graduation of Australian-trained Ukrainian soldiers as part of a UK-led multinational training effort to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They leave with skills and knowledge that will save lives when they take up the fight against Russia,” Marles said.
Australia has now imposed more than 1,000 sanctions in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong said, “Australia is imposing 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.
“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,“ Minister Wong added.
Overnight, Australia also joined 140 other member states to support a resolution calling for a just peace in Ukraine at an Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly.