Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned Russia is likely to have a “more violent” response due to the resistance from the international community against the invasion of Ukraine as he committed $105 million to Ukraine for defensive and humanitarian support.
“The economic, diplomatic and defence response has been far stronger than anticipated and particularly I believe by the Russian government. It is having a very serious impact on their progress,” Mr Morrison said on Tuesday, commending the responses from countries like Singapore and Switzerland in assisting Ukraine.
“Every day that that resistance continues, every day that we impose a cost on the Russian government and all those who support them in their unlawful acts, makes it even harder for Russia to continue to pursue their objectives in Ukraine,” he said.
“This is also likely to lead to an even more violent response from Russia. Anyone who thinks the Russian government is just going to sit there, I think doesn’t understand the intent and the outrageous objectives of [Russian] President Putin.”
He said Australia would provide additional support to Ukraine, including about $70 million for both lethal and non-lethal defensive support – the majority in the lethal category. He declined to provide the specifics, saying he did not want to give Russia any additional information.
There will also be an “opening contribution” of $35 million for humanitarian support, with more to be provided over time to help provide shelter, food, water, medical care and education support.
Outstanding Australian visas for Ukrainian people have now been processed, he said, and about 100 applications are being received a day and considered “top priority”.
The Prime Minister gave his sternest warning yet to Australians considering going to Ukraine to help fight the Russian invasion.