Australia looks to ‘adopt’ a Ukrainian region and help rebuild its infrastructure after constant shelling from Russian forces
- Australia may team up with Denmark or the Netherlands to fund Ukrainian region
- The government could team up with Denmark to adopt the Mykolaiv region
- Another option could see Australia and the Netherlands to rebuild Kherson
Australia could ‘adopt’ a region of Ukraine and pledge to rebuild its infrastructure after it was ravaged by Russia.
Ukrainian ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko put the motion forward to Anthony Albanese’s government before a more substantial proposal was submitted last month.
Under the plan, Australia could team up with Denmark to adopt the Mykolaiv region in the south.
Mykolaiv has undergone near-constant shelling by Russian forces, although it remains controlled by Ukraine.
Another option could see Australia and the Netherlands to rebuild Kherson, which is currently occupied by Kremlin forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shaking hands prior to their meeting in Kyiv
An elderly man looks at a damaged residential building after shelling in the city of Mykolaiv, on October 1
An administrative building in Lyubotyn in Kharkiv region is reduced to rubble after it was exploded by a Russian rocket
Both regions border the Black Sea.
The adoption proposal was first discussed by foreign and Ukrainian ambassadors at a meeting in July in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
So far, 10 nations have pledged to partner with regions.
Turkey will take on Kharkiv, The Netherlands will help rebuild Kherson, and Italy will tackle three regions: Odesa, Kyiv with the UK and Zhytomyr with Estonia.
Chernihiv will be rebuilt by Lativa, France and Sweden.
Myroshnychenko told Crikey: ‘The logic was because it’s a maritime area and it’s on the Black Sea, lots of help will be needed with rebuilding ports and shipbuilding, which is an area of expertise for Australia.
‘There’s heavy fighting going on, but the ambition is to expand reconstruction to Kherson once we retake it.’
A man walks by a damaged residential building after shelling in the city of Mykolaiv
Women react in front of a damaged residential building after shelling in the city of Mykolaiv
Myroshnychenko also suggested that Australia and New Zealand could join forces as an Anzac endeavour.
The ambassador also hopes Ukrainian municipalities can partner with foreign municipalities, local and state governments, private businesses and individual donors to fundraise to rebuild specific infrastructure.
He said so far the response from the Albanese government had been ‘positive,’ although no official commitments have been made.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said the government would work with partners to support Ukraine and consider all formal requests for further assistance: ‘The Australian government continues to engage with our Ukrainian counterparts and acknowledges the significant challenges associated with rebuilding Ukraine.’