Doorstop, NATO Headquarters
Marise Payne: Good morning everyone. Australia is very pleased to be participating in this meeting with NATO Foreign Ministers at such a critical time, not just here in Europe but, frankly, for the world, including our own region of the Indo-Pacific. We have been working closely with our partners in NATO, the European Union, particularly with the United States, in terms of the strongest possible response to Russia's unlawful invasion of Ukraine – its wholesale breach of international law, its wholesale breach of the UN Charter – and we will continue to do so.
Today, I'm announcing 67 further sanctions on Russian elites and oligarchs, those close to Putin, who facilitate and support his outrageous actions. The events we have seen uncovered in Buchan this week only reinforce the importance of strong, global coordination in response to Russia for their actions.
Marise Payne: Well, we are already doing that. We are already engaging in a cooperative sense in terms of military support to Ukraine. Australia has delivered five C-17 loads of military support – lethal and non-lethal – to Ukraine. We are in the process of preparing the Bushmasters that President Zelenskyy requested in his address to our Parliament – his momentous address to our Parliament last week. They will be transported as soon as possible.
We are coordinating on humanitarian response. Part of our deliveries here into Europe for Ukraine has brought deliveries also from New Zealand, for example, in terms of their support for Ukraine. And we are strongly coordinating in relation to sanctions. The imperative is that that absolutely continues, because we need to show authoritarian states like Russia and other authoritarian states that will seek to act in this way, that the world stands united overwhelmingly against them. Thank you very much.
Marise Payne: Well, NATO and Australia are enhanced opportunity partners. I have been working closely with counterparts in NATO since I was Australia's Defence Minister. That continues in my role as Australia's Foreign Minister. I met with the Secretary-General yesterday, particularly in response to events in Europe, of course, but, also in response to NATO's work on their Asia-Pacific Partnership Strategy, which Australia warmly welcomes. That is an ongoing engagement and something which we strongly support. Thank you very much.