Australian Government plans asylum visa options for Ukrainians
There are about 50,000 people in Australia with Ukrainian heritage and about 8,500 were born in Ukraine according to the last sensus data. The Australian Government is considering a range of visa options for those who might have to flee the conflict, including extra temporary protection visas and extending the visas of Ukrainians already in Australia.
If the situation deteriorates further on the Ukraine-Russia border, Ukrainians residing in Australia on temporary visas may be offered asylum. Yesterday, leaders of Australia's Ukraine community met with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to discuss the Australian Government's response to the unfolding crisis.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says that the federal government is considering visa options for Ukrainians seeking asylum, after talks with members of the Ukrainian Australian community.
"Australia has been working with the Ukrainian Australian community to be ready to offer anyone here on temporary visas asylum, if needed," he said.
"[We are ready] to work with our partners internationally on what movements might happen across borders."
He said more visa announcements could be made if the situation between Russia and Ukraine worsens.
The White House repeated on Sunday the belief of US authorities that a military operation by Russia on Ukraine could happen "at any time".
The Kremlin insists there is no plan to attack, although Russian state media continues to stoke tensions, accusing Kyiv of plotting an assault on the two pro-Russia regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.