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Australia allocates $66 million military aid package for Ukraine

The aid includes short-range air defense systems, drones, and essential military equipment.
Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles during the meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Lviv, on 27 April 2024. Source:
Australia allocates $66 million military aid package for Ukraine

Australia is allocating a new military aid package worth A$100 million ($66,274,000) for Ukraine, announced Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Australia Richard Marles during a joint press conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Deputy Minister of Defence Ivan Havryliuk.

On 27 April, Richard Marles came to Lviv in western Ukraine to meet with the county’s officials and discuss its military situation and defense capabilities.

He stated that A$50 million of the funding would be directed to supply Ukraine with short-range air defense systems, A$30 million for purchasing drones for the Ukrainian military, and an additional A$15 million for equipment, such as helmets, inflatable boats, gas masks, and generators.

“Ukraine and its people have endured over two years of full-scale Russian aggression, yet their resilience remains unwavering. Australia will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail in this war,” Marles stated.

He also announced that Australia will provide Ukraine with “air-to-ground” weaponry.

“We understand that the conflict will be prolonged and commit to standing with Ukraine. Ukraine must prevail for its future and peace in the world,” said the Australian deputy defense minister.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal added that Australia, a member of the drone coalition, will supply Ukraine with drones worth $32.5 million and a large number of RBS 70 man-portable air-defense systems valued at dozens of millions of dollars, according to UkrInform.

According to Shmyhal, he and Richard Marles discussed a wide range of strategic cooperation issues during their meeting.

“I am confident that our partnership is long-term and has huge development prospects,” the Ukrainian said at the joint press conference.

The official added that in the military aspect, Ukraine is interested in strengthening defense and creating conditions for success on the battlefield.

Since the onset of Russia’s war, Australia has allocated $655 million of aid for Ukraine, of which $540 million constitutes military assistance, noted Shmyhal.

He noted that Australia regularly announces new military assistance packages, providing armored vehicles and armored personnel carriers for Ukraine. In addition, the country supplies demining equipment and 3D printing tools, which help repair equipment, anti-drone weapons, artillery, and ammunition.

This year, military instructors from Operation Kudzu of the Australian Defense Force and the Finnish Defense Forces have begun leadership training courses for the Ukrainian Army.

The training aims to enhance the professional skills of Ukrainian defenders as part of the multinational Interflex operation under the leadership of the UK. The Australian contingent includes about 70 instructors and a number of medics, engineers, and logistical support personnel.

The military conducts three separate leadership courses: the section commander battle, platoon and company sergeant battle, and platoon commander battle.

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine was a significant breach of international law, said Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton at the training camp in the UK.

“It is that compelling reason that we need to contribute to support the global system as a nation. Our contribution has shifted from recruit training to leadership training, helping grow the leadership capability but equally to enhance the survivability of junior leaders on the battlefield,” he said.

Shmyhal also announced that in addition to training and assistance, Australia has extended its duty-free regime with Ukraine until July 2026.

Update: References to monetary amounts have been revised. The initial reports did not specify that the figures are in Australian dollars, not US dollars.

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