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Thursday, 31 March 2022
Page: 1514

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (17:32): Mr President, Ukraine and Australia are separated by half the earth. Our languages, accents, histories and cultures are different, but we share an affinity for democracy, freedom, freedom of speech, expression and a free press, for the right to live free of coercion, intimidation and the brute fist of force and a belief in our shared human dignity. Mr President, the people of Australia stand with Ukraine in your fight for survival. Yes, you have our prayers, but you also have our weapons, our humanitarian aid and our sanctions against those who seek to deny your freedom. You even have our coal. And there will be more. Today, I announced an additional package of defensive military assistance to assist in the defence of your homeland, including tactical decoys, unmanned aerial and unmanned ground systems, rations and medical supplies. Mr President, our pledge is that, when freedom prevails, Australia will help the people of Ukraine rebuild as well.

Here, today, in the home of Australia's democracy, we welcome you, Mr President, as a lion of democracy. We honour you and the incredible courage of your people, who you lead. We are witnesses to it, with all of those around the world. They are, as you call them, strong people of an indomitable country, and may that be so. We stand with you, Mr President, and we do not stand with the war criminal of Moscow. I know that man; you know that man. We know that man, Mr Speaker, and we know his regime. We have seen them unleash unspeakable horror against your children, your hospitals and your shelters. We remember the downing of a civilian airliner carrying 298 innocents, including 38 Australians, and we remember them also on this day. In their name, and in the name of 25 million Australians and their elected representatives, I welcome you, Mr President. I welcome you to our parliament. I welcome a great friend of Australia.