The Australian Defence Minister has announced that Russian tourists will not be barred from country despite requests from Ukraine to do so.
The Australian Defence Minister, Richard Marles, recently announced the decision on whether Russian tourists would be allowed in the country or not.
Ukraine requested the sanction but when asked if Australia would also ban Russian tourists, Marles said sanctions were aimed at Russia’s government, “not the Russian people themselves.”
“This is not something we are considering at the moment,” he told ABC television.
When asked if Australia would provide more Bushmasters for Ukraine, Marles gave this answer:
“We will be looking at how we can provide that ongoing support,” Marles said, calling Australia “one of the largest non-NATO military support of Ukraine”.
Australia in July already pledged 60 Bushmasters and 28 M113AS4 Armoured Vehicles to Ukraine as part of more than A$385 million in military assistance.
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Marles gave the following statements on Ukraine when pledging support to them:
“This latest commitment will provide the Government of Ukraine with valuable tools to aid their continuing resistance against this unwarranted aggression.
“Australia will also contribute AUD $20 million to NATO’s Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund, in addition to the AUD $4.2 million Defence contributed immediately following Russia’s invasion.
“The fund is a mature, efficient and safe mechanism to provide non-lethal support to the Government of Ukraine, including medical supplies and fuel.
“Australia is proud to contribute to NATO’s Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund alongside our international partners.”
Also on Sunday, Marles spoke on Australia’s deal with the United States and Britain to build nuclear-powered submarines under an alliance called AUKUS remained “on track”.
Australia, in June, reached a 555 million euro deal with French military shipyard Naval Group which saw the scrapping of a multi-billion dollar conventional powered sub in favour of nuclear-powered subs via AUKUS.
“We are confident we will be able to make an announcement about which submarine in the first part of next year,” Marles said, adding that it was important not to view the submarine acquisition process as “some kind of competition between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
“Both countries are working very closely with us to help us acquire this capability,” he said.