March 1 (UPI) — Australia and Canada have announced additional supplies of weapons to Ukraine as the embattled European nation has called on world leaders to arm it in its fight against a Russian invasion.
On Tuesday, Australia pledged $50 million to buy lethal and non-lethal weapons for Kyiv as well as $25 million in humanitarian support, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during a press conference.
“We’re talking missiles, we’re talking ammunition, we’re talking supporting them in their defense of their own homeland in Ukraine, and we’ll be doing that in partnership with NATO,” he said, adding, “I don’t plan to give the Russian government a heads up about what’s coming their way, but I can assure them it’s coming your way.”
Since Russia’s predawn attack began last week, Ukrainian officials have called on world leaders to impose sanctions and to supply it with weapons, stating they will defend their country themselves if given the means to do so.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been quoted as telling U.S. officials offering him an exit out of his country that, “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
“President Zelensky said, don’t give me a ride, give me ammunition, and that’s exactly what the Australian government has agreed to do,” Morrison told reporters.
Hours earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday during a press conference its fourth shipment of lethal and non-lethal weapons to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons systems and upgraded ammunition.
The weapons also coincide with Ottawa’s intent to ban all imports of Russian crude oil and a review of Russia Today’s presence on Canadian airways by the local telecommunications regulator to prevent Russian propaganda from spreading throughout the nation.
Airlift support for the transportation of supplies will also be provided.
“It is increasingly clear that President [Vladimir] Putin has made a grave miscalculation,” Trudeau said. “Our message is clear: This unnecessary war must stop now.”
The announcement came a day after Ottawa said it was sending an additional $25 million in military aid to address Ukraine’s ask of Canada for helmets, body armor, gas masks, night vision gear and other protective equipment.
Those supplies are on top of the European Union on Monday stating it was to conduct its first-ever purchase and delivery of weapons to a nation under attack.
The Ukrainian Parliament tweeted late Monday night that the EU’s contribution was 70 fighter jets.
Germany on the weekend made a dramatic shift in its foreign relations policy by providing Ukraine with 500 stinger missiles.
Belgium on Sunday also said it would give Ukraine 3,000 machine guns and 200 anti-tank grenade launchers.
Late on Monday, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that he spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and it appears more military support may be coming.
“I underscored that Ukraine craves for peace, but as long as we are under Russia’s assault we ned more sanctions and weapons,” he said. “Secretary assured me of both.”