Australian Prime Minister makes historic visit to war-torn Ukraine

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During a historic first trip by an Australian Prime Minister to war-torn Ukraine, Anthony Albanese has held a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Albanese made a surprise visit to Zelensky in Kyiv on Sunday and pledged to boost military aid to Ukraine and impose further sanctions on Russian gold and several oligarchs.

Specifically, Albanese announced Australia would gift the nation 14 more armoured personnel carriers, 20 more Bushmaster vehicles and drones in a new $100 million assistance package.

“Australia stands ready to continue to support the government and the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to emerge victorious in defence of your national sovereignty and your homeland,” Albanese told Zelensky at a press conference.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: AP.

Albanese’s visit was supposed to be top secret but was announced by the Ukrainian government and foreign media based in Kyiv.

Media reported that the Prime Minister also visited the towns of Bucha and Irpin, as well as Hostomel airport — known sites of brutal mass killings committed by Russian forces that have been examined by war crimes investigators.

Accompanied by the Governor of Kyiv Oblast, Oleksiy Kuleba, Mr Albanese appeared disturbed by the destruction.

“This is a war crime,” Albanese said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visits war-torn Irpin. Photo: AP.

In response to the visit, Zelensky said his county was grateful, but lamented such an occasion had not taken place during peacetime.

He said the key topics of the discussions were security co-operation between Ukraine and Australia, and the further protection of freedom.

“I am grateful to Australia for its firm, unyielding position on this issue,” he said.

“We must strengthen international co-operation in order to break Russia’s aggressive potential. We must increase the sanctions pressure on the aggressor.”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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