Prime Minister convenes security committee on Ukraine | the islander

The Federal Cabinet’s National Security Committee has begun talks to determine what additional responses Australia will provide to Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison convened the committee on Tuesday morning to finalize the lethal aid Australia will send and consider further action.

The aid will come on top of the $4 million already pledged for military assistance through the NATO Trust Fund for Ukraine.

However, national security considerations could prevent the Prime Minister from disclosing what lethal aid would be provided.

The head of the Ukrainian embassy in Canberra welcomed any support from Australia, saying military support would make a huge difference after Russia’s first missile strikes targeted the country’s military infrastructure.

“That’s why it’s crucial for us to have reliable support,” said Chargé d’Affaires Volodymyr Shalkivskyi.

“Thanks to the international community, our partners, we are convinced that we will not lack bullets and weapons to defend our country.”

Mr Shalkivskyi said it was important for Australians to comply with the legislation after around 20 people contacted the Ukrainian embassy on Monday morning to inquire about the possibility of traveling abroad for to fight.

“I am really delighted to hear such words of support. At the same time, it is important to carefully assess how you can proceed,” he said.

It comes as Ukrainian President Volorymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree temporarily removing entry visa requirements for foreigners wishing to join the Ukrainian Defense Forces and fight Russian troops.

The decree took effect on Tuesday and will remain in effect as long as martial law is in place in Ukraine.

Mr Morrison urged Ukrainians in Australia not to travel to Ukraine to fight in the conflict.

“At this time, the legality of such actions is uncertain under Australian law,” he said on Monday.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also reiterated calls for Australians not to travel to Ukraine in light of the invasion.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel advice is not to travel to Ukraine, we urge everyone, as we always do, to heed this advice,” he told reporters on Tuesday. journalists in Melbourne.

“Vladimir Putin’s extraordinary comments on nuclear weapons are completely exaggerated, this guy just needs to back off and get the message across that he is isolated in the world.”

The Labor leader said the opposition strongly supported Australia’s sanctions against Russia, alongside international partners such as the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union.

Australian Associated Press

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