Joint press conference, Lviv, Ukraine

Release details

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

Denys Shmyhal

Prime Minister of Ukraine

Release content

27 April 2024

SUBJECT: Visit to Ukraine, Announcement of additional military support for Ukraine

PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE, DENYS SHMYHAL: Good afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Australia, colleagues and the media representatives. I am very pleased to welcome here in Lviv Mr Richard Marles, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Defence Minister of the country which is a partner for Ukraine. First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the people and government of Australia for a clear and consistent position on Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemning Russian aggression. I am grateful for Australia for the comprehensive help it has been providing since the beginning of the full scale invasion. It is about humanitarian financial aid sanction support and the possibility to import Ukraine commodities duty free and also extension of aid until the summer of 2026. Of special importance is the fact that Australia consistently announces new aid packages for Ukraine. Such vehicles as Bushmaster vehicle and the M113 have proven excellent in the battlefield. Also, Australia provides demining equipment, equipment for 3D printing which helps repair military equipment, also anti-drone technologies, artillery and munition. Recently Australia has announced it is joining the drone Coalition initiated by the United Kingdom and Latvia. Also Australia is making contributions to the International Fund for Ukraine which is administered by the United Kingdom for which the purchase of- the procurement of equipment for our Defence is being funded. Australia instructors are involved in training our military in the United Kingdom as part of the multinational operation INTERFLEX. We are grateful for Australians sharing their knowledge and skills with Ukrainians. The Australia support- total support for Ukraine has amounted to over $655 million USD of which $540 million USD is military aid. We greatly appreciate such solidarity from the Australian people with Ukraine. Although we are situated in different parts of the planet, we have shared values and shared priorities. Together we are doing one thing: we are fighting for global security, for just peace and for a better future for the whole of mankind. Today’s visit of Richard Marles to Ukraine will have important results for our defence capacity. As part of the coalition of drones, Australia will supply drones worth $32.5 million. Also, a large batch of man portable defence systems – RBS-70 worth dozens of millions of dollars will be provided to Ukraine too. We are grateful to our Australian friends and partners for this powerful contribution to Ukraine’s resilience and victory. Today, Mr Richard Marles and I have discussed a wide range of issues of strategic cooperation. I am confident that our partnership is long term and has great prospects for development. Currently in the military aspect we aim to strengthen Ukraine’s defence and creating peak conditions for further successes for Ukraine in the battlefield. I would like to thank Mr. Richard Marles for deep involvement in Ukrainian affairs, for viable solidarity, for concrete things that Australia is doing for Ukraine. We shall never forget real friendship and support. We will be together until we achieve victory. And after the victory we will be together rebuilding Ukraine. And we will do everything we can to ensure the force of law prevail over the law of force. Thank you for your dedication to Ukraine. 


DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA, RICHARD MARLES: Thank you, Prime Minister for hosting me and my delegation here in Lviv today. I greatly appreciate the very fruitful discussions that we have. And I have a sense that I've just met a very close future friend and we will stay in touch. Last year, I visited Operation INTERFLEX- Operation Kudu in Great Britain where members of the Australian Defence Force were training new recruits to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It was a deeply moving experienced to see. To see new recruits the Ukrainian Armed Forces, putting their lives on the line on behalf of their nation. And for the Australian personnel, they felt it was as important a task as they had ever engaged in in their time in the Australian Defence Force. Likewise, for myself, and the entire delegation, it is a very impactful and emotional experience to be here in Ukraine today. 

When Russia first crossed the Ukrainian border more than two years ago, in its appalling act of aggression, most commentators thought this conflict would last just three weeks. And now, more than two years on, the whole world has been inspired by Ukraine brave resistance. Australia is a country which is deeply invested in the global rules based order- our security and our prosperity is dependent on it. And so while Australia may be a long way from here, we see that a challenge to the global rules based order in Eastern Europe is a challenge to the global rules based order everywhere. It is profoundly important for the world that Ukraine prevails in this war. And so we understand that principally, those in the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting on behalf of their nation, but there is a sense in which we feel that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting on behalf of all of us . And for that Australia and Australians are deeply grateful. Today, we have been fortunate to witness Ukrainian Armed Forces who were training on manoeuvrable fire groups. We have seen examples of the best of Ukrainian innovation in defence industry, particularly in drones. And we feel very honoured to be hosted at the National Army Academy during the course of the day. And there we were able to witness the creation of the next generation of leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. And Prime Minister, I very much thank you for the meeting that we've been able to enjoy prior to this. Australia will remain with Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail in this war on its terms. And so to that end, today we are announcing the next package of support for Ukraine, totalling $100 million. $50 million of that is dedicated to short range air defence systems. $30 million, as the Prime Minister said to the purchase of drones as part of Australia being a part of the drone coalition being led by the United Kingdom and Latvia. And the remainder will be spent on various products from rigid hull inflatable boats, to helmets and boots. We're also able to announce today that we have been able to provide to Ukraine air to ground precision munitions. But this tranche is just the next tranche. We understand this we will be an enduring conflict, and we will be contributing more in the future because we are determined to stand side-by-side with Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail. Ukraine must prevail for the future Ukraine but Ukraine must prevail for the future of global peace and security. Prime Minister, thank you for having us here. 


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