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Ukraine conflict: Australia bans alumina exports to Russia

The Australian government has introduced a ban on exports of aluminium ores and alumina to Russia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said on 20 March that the sales ban is intended to impact Russia's defence industry.

“The goods designated by the [new sanctions] are key components in the manufacture and development of weapons. Australia has prohibited the export of these goods to, or for the benefit of, Russia,” said DFAT.

The new sanctions, which came into force immediately, were described by the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra as a “significant step” in its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It added that the ban will limit Russia's capacity to produce aluminium for industries including defence.

“Russia relies on Australia for nearly 20% of its alumina needs,” the DoD said.

In addition to the sanctions on Russia, the DoD said it will provide Ukraine with defensive military assistance of AUD21 million (USD15.5 million), taking Australia's total military funding for Ukraine to AUD91 million.

“To meet Ukrainian priority requests, this package will comprise additional material from Australian Defence Force stocks,” the DoD added.

In early March Australia pledged an initial AUD70 million to support the procurement of military equipment for Ukraine. According to Canberra, most of this funding was directed at the acquisition of “lethal” equipment including missiles and ammunition.

In late February the Australian government also pledged to provide USD3 million to a NATO trust to support Ukraine's acquisition of non-lethal military equipment and medical supplies.

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