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Australia demands redirecting $9 billion of Russia's 'dirty money' to Ukraine

Australia demands redirecting $9 billion of Russia's 'dirty money' to Ukraine Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Australia's elite is demanding the confiscation of $9 billion worth of Russian assets frozen by the Australian government, urging for their redirection towards financial aid for Ukraine, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

A coalition comprising former prime ministers, business tycoons, union and military leaders, as well as former diplomats, penned a letter to Treasurer Jim Chalmers advocating for the consideration of several options for redirecting billions of "dirty money" stashed in Australia since sanctions were imposed against Russian oligarchs and individuals implicated in the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

Prominent Australians affiliated with the Supporters of Ukraine Network are calling for the frozen Russian assets to be channeled towards Ukraine.

Discussions surrounding the utilization of Russian assets have intensified as dictator Vladimir Putin's forces escalate their activities on the battlefield, with Russian airstrikes targeting Ukrainian troops and cities, while the US Congress delays the approval of a multibillion-dollar aid package.

Amid mounting criticism over Australia's lack of military and humanitarian assistance, the Supporters of Ukraine Network has appealed to the government to join other nations in devising legal frameworks for the use of sovereign Russian assets to rebuild and reconstruct the country, and to amend its own laws to facilitate the utilization of these assets.

"We make this plea because Australia can punch well above its weight at no cost to the Australian taxpayer,” says the letter, whose signatories include former prime minister John Howard, health industry leader Dr Tanya Dus and Reverend Bill Crews, a Uniting Church minister and humanitarian.

Australia's assistance to Ukraine

Despite the geographical distance between Australia and Ukraine, Canberra has been aiding Ukrainians and condemning Russian aggression. Canberra has provided military and financial assistance, dispatched instructors to train Ukrainian troops.

Australian mining magnate and philanthropist Andrew Forrest and his ex-wife Nicola, through their Minderoo foundation, have allocated $5 million Australian dollars to assist in demining agricultural areas in Ukraine.

Recently, it was revealed that Australia is providing financial assistance to support Ukraine's defense, totaling more than $32 million.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Australia Vasyl Miroshnychenko said that Canberra should reconsider its approach to assisting Ukraine by providing Abrams tanks and financial aid.