Australia sanctions alumina exports to Russia, offers humanitarian visa for Ukrainians

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Australia announced on Sunday that the country is barring alumina exports to Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and will be offering humanitarian visas for Ukrainians.

“The Government has overnight imposed an immediate ban on Australian exports of alumina and aluminium ores (including bauxite) to Russia, which will limit its capacity to produce aluminium – a critical export for Russia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison and several other Australian ministers said in a joint statement.

The ministers noted that Australia provides almost 20 percent of Russia’s alumina needs.

Australia also announced that it would be offering Ukrainians temporary humanitarian visas, which would allow refugees to access Medicare, study and work. The ministers said that close to 4,500 visas have been issued so far and more than 600 Ukrainians with those visas have already entered the country.

The ministers further announced defense aid to Ukraine and humanitarian aid, including $21 million for defense aid to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and an added $30 million in humanitarian assistance.

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

Other nations have also pledged support for Ukraine, including by opening up temporary avenues for Ukrainians to stay in their countries amid the invasion.

Canada announced earlier this month that it would be dropping some normal visa requirements and allowing Ukrainians to enter through a Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel, which would allow them to stay for at least two years.

In Canada’s announcement it also said that it would be establishing a pathway to permanent residence for Ukrainians who already had family who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

The Biden administration announced earlier this month that it would be granting an 18-month temporary protected status (TPS) to Ukrainians already in the U.S.

Tags Australia Canada Russia Russia-Ukraine conflic Scott Morrison TPS Ukraine

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