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Australia allocates additional funds to Ukraine

Hundreds of millions of weapons and other military aid have been included in the new budget

The Australian government has planned 213.3 million Australian dollars ($136 million) in additional spending for aid to Ukraine over the next five years. The funding is part of the new federal budget unveiled Tuesday.

Most of the money is to be spent on military assistance, including Bushmaster armored vehicles and other weapon systems that Canberra wants to supply kyiv over two years. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor government has allocated A$185.6 million ($118 million) for this purpose.

The rest of the money will be used to provide services such as health care to the 6,500 Ukrainian nationals who have been granted temporary shelter in Australia, to support Ukrainian border guards with cybersecurity and to help Ukrainians living in the Pacific countries to integrate into society.

Australia’s defense spending will receive an 8% increase this year, largely thanks to the continuation of the policies of Albanese’s predecessor, Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Morrison government announced plans to ship 20 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles in early April, citing a request from Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the national parliament.

READ MORE: Poland toughens Ukrainian refugee law

Albanese pledged to continue arming Ukraine when he visited kyiv in July. The Australian government used to be called “the largest non-NATO contributor” of military aid to Ukraine, but later changed the wording to “one of the largest,” citing difficulties with tracking and measuring support by different parties.

An aid tracker run by the Kyiv Institute for the World Economy ranks Australia 10th in total aid, if EU institutions are excluded, or 12th if only weapons and money for military expenditure are taken into account.

RT

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