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Ukraine

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Ukraine country brief

Key engagement

Australia strongly supports Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have contributed over $1.3 billion towards important defence, economic, energy and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in response to Russia's illegal and immoral invasion on 24 February 2022. Australia's objective, along with our partners, is to empower Ukraine to end the war on its own terms.

Further details are available at Russia's Invasion of Ukraine.

Bilateral relations

Australia's bilateral relations with Ukraine have deepened substantially in recent years. In response to Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022, Australia has worked with partners to support Ukraine and hold Russia to account. This includes committing military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, providing duty-free access for Ukrainian imports, prioritising visa applications from Ukrainian nationals, contributing to Ukraine's energy security, restricting exports to Russia, and imposing over 1,200 sanctions on Russia and other countries supporting its invasion, including Belarus and Iran.

In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, and Australia imposed autonomous sanctions in response. On 17 July 2014, MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing 298 people, including 38 people who called Australia home. An international criminal investigation, conducted by the Joint Investigation Team comprising Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, has gathered evidence for use in holding those responsible to account. In May 2018, Australia and the Netherlands notified Russia they held it responsible for its role in the downing of the flight and in March 2022, initiated dispute settlement proceedings against Russia in the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council.

Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union on 24 August 1991, and diplomatic relations between Australia and Ukraine were formally established on 26 December 1991. The Embassy of Ukraine in Australia was established in April 2003. Australia had non-resident representation to Ukraine until 2014 when an Embassy opened in Kyiv. Following Russia's invasion, Australia's embassy staff have operated from Warsaw since 2022.

Foreign policy

Ukraine’s foreign policy priority is resisting Russia’s invasion by building international military, humanitarian, diplomatic and international legal accountability support. In December 2022, President Zelenskyy outlined a 10-point Peace Formula which articulates Ukraine's terms for peace. Australia attended the Ukraine Peace Summit hosted by Switzerland in June 2024, which discussed aspects of the Peace Formula.  Ukraine works with bilateral partners and through the multilateral system, including the UN and other intergovernmental organisations, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Ukraine also continues to work towards greater integration with the European Union. In June 2022, Ukraine was granted the status of a candidate for accession to the European Union. In September 2022, Ukraine formally applied to join North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In June 2024, the EU formally launched accession negotiations with Ukraine. Ukraine has also been a vocal advocate for United Nations Security Council reform. President Zelenskyy addressed the General Debate of the 78th Session of the General Assembly.

Further details are available at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Economic diplomacy

Australia's trade relationship with Ukraine is modest, with two-way trade totalling $166 million in 2022-2023. Goods and services exports from Australia were valued at $97.2 million in 2023. In the same period, Australia imported $68.5 million worth of products from Ukraine, mainly vegetable oils and fats. Since July 2022, Australia provided duty-free access to Ukrainian imports to Australia to support Ukraine's recovery and trade opportunities. This measure has been extended until 3 July 2026.

Further economic and trade information can be found in the Ukraine Country Fact Sheet.

Australian Embassy in Ukraine

The Embassy can be contact on the details below:

Website: ukraine.embassy.gov.au
X: @AUinUA
Facebook: Australian Embassy, Ukraine

Travel

Ukraine is a DO NOT TRAVEL destination. See further Smartraveller information on travelling to Ukraine.

High level engagement

  • July 2024 – Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles met with President Zelenskyy, alongside the US and Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) partners (Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea) during a meeting at the 2024 NATO Leaders Summit
  • June 2024 – The Hon Bill Shorten MP attended as Australia's representative to the Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland, where he met with President Zelenskyy and First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Ms Yulia Svyrydenko
  • May 2024 – Prime Minister Anthony Albanese held a phone call with President Zelenskyy
  • May 2024 – Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts met virtually with Ukraine's First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Andrii Sybiha
  • April 2024 – Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles visited Lviv where he announced AUD $100 million military assistance package to Ukraine
  • September 2023 – Foreign Minister Penny Wong met with Ukraine's Deputy Minister for Justice, Ms Iryna Mudra at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level week
  • July 2023 – Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts met virtually with Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Mykola Tochytskyi
  • July 2023 – Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with President Zelenskyy in the margins of the 2023 NATO Summit (Vilnius)
  • February 2023 – Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts met virtually with Ukraine's former First Deputy Foreign Minister, Ms Emine Dzhaparova
  • September 2022 – Foreign Minister Penny Wong met with Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Mr Dmytro Kuleba at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level week
  • July 2022 – Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Ukraine
  • June 2022 – Foreign Minister Penny Wong held a phone call with Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Mr Dmytro Kuleba
  • March 2022 – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remotely addressed Australian Parliament
  • October 2018 –Former Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, former Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak and former Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov visited Australia
  • October 2017 – Former President of the Senate, Stephen Parry visited Ukraine
  • December 2014 – Former President Petro Poroshenko visited Australia
  • July 2014 – Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Ukraine
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