The Australian Government will provide $300,000 for a special monitoring mission in Ukraine with an aim to reducing the tensions and fostering stability and security in the country.

The funding will go to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which is playing an important role in attempting to broker a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

The mission consists of unarmed civilian monitors from OSCE member states. Australia’s contribution will provide for additional resources to be deployed and provide increased focus on critical areas within Ukraine.

The Government remains deeply concerned by the escalation of events in the east of Ukraine, which has resulted in tragic loss of life. Australia continues to urge the Russian Government to abide by its international obligations, including its responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Australia stands united with the Ukrainian people in this ordeal and calls on Russia again to change course. The deliberate destabilisation within Ukraine must stop. The results of the so-called referendum in Ukraine’s eastern providences will not be recognised as legitimate by Australia.

On 9 May the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade re-issued its travel advice for Ukraine. The Government advises Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Ukraine. We advise Australians not to travel to Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk provinces and Odessa city. Australians presently in these places should leave by commercial means if safe to do so.

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