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Press Release: UCQ Responds to the ongoing war in Ukraine
March 4, 2022
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RUSSIA’S ATTACKS ON NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

The Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc. (UCQ) is deeply concerned for the safety of Ukraine and broader Europe following the attack on the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant by the Russian military.

“Putin may not be using nuclear weapons yet, but this war has already turned nuclear with the constant targeting of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. This has been seen today with the attack on the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant by the Russian military” said UCQ President, Peter Bongiorni.

REQUESTS TO THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

The Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc. echoes the request from our national body, the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), to the Australian Government to support  the community by adopting the below measures:

  1. Establish an internationally enforced no-fly zone over Ukraine – Australia should strongly support the establishment of an air exclusion zone over Ukraine. Although some argue that this may mean the West is intervening in the conflict, it will also mean civilian lives are saved. With the use of surveillance and strikes on planes violating the ban, Russia’s slaughter of the innocent, mostly recently witnessed in the indiscriminate bombing of residential suburbs in Kharkiv, will be stopped. With respect the reasons currently provided by the West for not establishing a no-fly zone makes little sense, when NATO is interfering by providing lethal aid and countries such as Turkey have blocked Russia ships from accessing the Black Sea.
  2. Provide more extensive lethal military aid – Ukrainians are willing to defend themselves and the Ukrainian army is brave and strong, but it is outnumbered and cannot hold the Russian forces off forever. Ukraine requires air defence missiles and anti-tank weapons. We understand that Australia is working with NATO and providing support to fund the supply of these weapons. This is an excellent step forward but more funds are needed.
  3. NATO military engagement – support Ukraine’s request that it be urgently invited to NATO and EU membership, bolstered by the immediate deployment of NATO forces in Ukraine to defer further Russian advancement.
  4. Trade Embargo – Australia should impose a trade embargo on Russia, as it has on Donetsk and Luhansk, prohibiting trade in sectors including transport, energy, telecommunication, oil and gas and mineral reserves. Poland is an excellent case study in connection with how European countries may cease to import Russia gas. In 2019 Poland halted the permanent import of Russian gas and increased imports from the US and Qatar and has established new infrastructure including the Baltic Pipe, which brings Norwegian gas to Poland via Denmark.
  5. Further strengthen financial sanctions – all state-owned enterprises of Russia should be sanctioned; foreign investment in Russia should be banned; Russian companies should be excluded now and in the future from international investment indices and passive investment funds like MSCI, Vanguard, S&P, Russel etc; and a trade embargo should be imposed on Russia to limit its capacity to sell oil and gas to fill its military budgets.
  6. Take steps to diplomatically isolate Russia – in Australia, this should include the cancellation of visas for Russian visitors, business people and students; closing the Russian consulate in Sydney; stopping Russian ships being allowed to dock in Australian ports; and supporting calls for a UN vote to expel Russia given they have egregiously violated the UN Charter.
  7. Intensify financial and humanitarian aid – the loss of life, the injuries, the pain and suffering are real. We need the immediate delivery of non-lethal military aid the Australian Government has promised, particularly medical aid, and the expansion of humanitarian efforts, to alleviate the suffering of innocent men, women and children.

THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine is inflicting tremendous damage and destruction throughout the country. 

Every day residential buildings are being destroyed and civilians are being injured and killed. 

The UCQ has shown support for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal (https://www.ukrainecrisisappeal.org/) which is coordinated by AFUO, in partnership with Rotary Australia Overseas Aid Fund and Caritas Ukraine.

Caritas Ukraine have confirmed they can provide aid across Ukraine and obtain all that is required to support the community.

They have implemented  a process with the National Bank of Ukraine that enables them to receive and access any funds that we forward and a process of how to obtain supplies required.

“We are overwhelmed with the generosity and support that Queenslanders and people around Australia have shown with their donations to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal, but with the escalations in the war by Russia, the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine worsens daily, so we need more support ” Mr Bongiorni said. 

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT UCQ

To show support for  the UCQ and the border Ukrainian community you can attend the UCQ rally.

 This will be held  at 12pm on  Sunday, 6th March 2022 in Brisbane’s King George Square.

“We are holding a peaceful rally this Sunday in Brisbane’s King George Square to show support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and to protest Russia’s war on Ukraine. We invite everyone who is against this war on innocent Ukrainians, to attend our rally” Mr Bongiorni said.


Media Note: 

Email only – media@ukrqld.com.au

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Issued on 04/03/2022