Australia to send Ukraine $20 million in energy aid, instead of coal it requested

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun6,2024
Key Points
  • Australia will provide Ukraine with a $31 million energy and humanitarian aid package.
  • It follows pleas from the Ukrainian government for an urgent shipment of coal.
  • Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia’s support for Ukraine was “unwavering”.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong has announced a $31 million energy and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine.
She made the announcement on Friday after as Russia bombards Ukraine’s power plants with missile and drone strikes.
Instead of providing coal, Australia will add $20 million to the Ukraine Energy Support Fund to provide heat and electricity for Ukrainians, amid concerns the war could continue into the European winter.

The Albanese government has been criticised after a call for help by Ukraine went unanswered for six months.

Wong said Australia’s support for Ukraine was “unwavering”.
“Australians want comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine and we continue to stand with Ukraine and their struggle to end this war on their own terms,” she told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.
“We remain steadfast in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. We remain steadfast in our support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and will continue to consistently condemn Russia’s invasion as an abrogation and attack on the UN Charter.”
Opposition foreign affairs spokesperson Simon Birmingham said Australia’s responsiveness to Ukraine’s requests should be swift, not “drawn out and delayed”.

“Ukraine’s request for coal gathered dust in Australia through one long, cold winter and the Albanese government needs to explain how this funds transfer is preferable to giving the actual coal that Ukraine asked for,” he said.

Wong said the advice to her was that the energy fund was “a more efficient and effective” way to help Ukraine.
“This enables Ukraine to make its own decisions about where it best applies this funding including in the energy network which has been … substantially damaged by Russia,” she said.
An additional $10 million will also go to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to increase Ukrainians’ access to essentials such as food, water, and shelter.
To help rehabilitate and care for people with disabilities and war injuries, an additional $1 million will be provided to the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The extra funding brings Australia’s total financial assistance for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022 to over $1 billion, including $880 million in .

With additional reporting by the Australian Associated Press

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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