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7000 Australian visas to Ukrainians

7000 Australian visas to Ukrainians



More than 7,000 Australian visas have been issued to displaced Ukrainians


New figures from the Department of Home Affairs reveal more than 7,000 visas have been given to Ukrainian nationals since the war began in late February. Australia has issued more than 7,000 visas to Ukrainians looking to flee the European country due to Russia's invasion.

New figures from the Department of Home Affairs also revealed more than 3,000 arrivals had been recorded of Ukrainian nationals entering Australia on any visa since the war began in late February. Of the 7,000 visas granted since 23 February, most of the visas have been temporary.

The temporary visa is valid for three years, allowing people to work, study and access services such as Medicare. 
A departmental spokesman said hundreds of visas had also been granted to Ukrainian nationals in other countries outside of Ukraine.

"The Department of Home Affairs is progressing visa applications from Ukrainian nationals as a priority, particularly for those connected to Australia," the spokesman told AAP. Australia will give Ukraine more heavy artillery weapons and ammunition as Russia steps up its offensive in the Donbas.

The $26.7 million military assistance packages will provide Ukraine with six M777 lightweight towed howitzers and ammunition. 
It takes Australia's military assistance contribution to Ukraine to $225 million, with a further $65 million provided in humanitarian aid and more than 70,000 tonnes of thermal coal.

In a statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the equipment offers further support to combat Russia's "brutal, unrelenting and illegal invasion".

"The Australian government will continue to identify opportunities for further military assistance where it can provide a required capability to the Ukraine Armed Forces expeditiously," Mr Morrison said. "The Australian government reiterates our most vital support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the people of Ukraine.

"Australia stands with the people of Ukraine and again calls on Russia to cease its unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine."

The new support package comes as Australian representatives attended a meeting hosted by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on the response to Ukraine. Australia was one of 40 nations attending the meeting at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where Mr Austin pledged additional military support for Ukraine.

Ukraine's ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, has highlighted the need for more military equipment to be sent to the besieged nation.



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