June 17, 2022
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday said he would attend “an important” NATO meeting in Madrid at the end of the month as the United States-led alliance looks to further strengthen its ties in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Australia, one of the largest non-NATO contributors to the West’s support for Ukraine, has been supplying aid and defence equipment and has banned exports of alumina and aluminium ores, including bauxite, to Russia.
“I’m going to NATO as a priority…to support the people of Ukraine standing up against this thuggish illegal behaviour of Russia,” Albanese said on Friday.
June 17, 2022
Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday he would take advice on whether to accept President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s invitation to visit Ukraine during an upcoming European trip.
Albanese will attend a NATO meeting in Spain at the end of this month.
“I appreciate the spirit in which it’s been offered and one of the reasons why Australia has been invited to NATO is that Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to give support to Ukraine in its defense of its national sovereignty against Russia’s illegal, immoral invasion. And we’ll continue to stand with the people of Ukraine,” Albanese added.
Zelenskyy addressed the Australian Parliament by video in late March when then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition was in power. The president appealed for armored vehicles and tougher sanctions against Russia.
Australia responded by promising 14 M113 fully tracked armored personnel carriers and 40 Bushmaster four-wheel-drive armored vehicles. The vehicles brought the cost of Australia’s contribution to Ukraine’s defense to 285 million Australian dollars ($200 million) by late May.