Of Course Scott Morrison Spruiked Coal In His Welcome Speech To Volodymyr Zelensky
"You have our prayers, but you also have our weapons, our humanitarian aid, our sanctions against those who seek to deny your freedom, you even have our coal."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered a speech to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, offering Australia’s prayers, weapons, humanitarian aid and coal in the fight against Russia.
Zelensky addressed the Australian Parliament on Thursday night, thanking the government for its support and asking for further help in the form of weapons and resources to fight back against Putin.
In a welcome speech to the President, Morrison noted that while “Ukraine and Australia are separated by half the Earth”, we have a common belief in democracy and freedom. He offered support in a variety of different ways — ranging from prayers to military weapons.
“Mr President, the people of Australia stand with Ukraine in your fight for survival. Yes, you have our prayers, but you also have our weapons, our humanitarian aid, our sanctions against those who seek to deny your freedom,” he said, while many in parliament cheered in support.
Morrison also made a point to stress that a major aspect of our humanitarian support to Ukraine is through coal. “And you even have our coal. And there will be more,” he added.
In his speech on Thursday night, Morrison also pledged additional military assistance.
“Today, I announce an additional package of defensive military assistance to assist in the defence of your homeland, including tactical decoys, unmanned aerial and unmanned ground systems, rations and medical supplies,” he said. “Mr President, our pledge is that when freedom prevails, Australia will help the people of Ukraine rebuild as well. Here today in the home of Australia’s democracy, we welcome you, Mr President, as a lion of democracy. We honour you and the incredible courage of your people whom you lead. We are witnesses to it with all of those around the world, as you call them, strong people of an indomitable country and may that be so.
“We stand with you, Mr President, and we do not stand with the war criminal of Moscow, Mr President. I know that man. You know that man. We know that man, Mr Speaker. And we know his regime. We have seen them unleash unspeakable horror against your children, your hospitals and shelters.
To date, Australia has provided $91 million in military support, $65 million in humanitarian assistance, 5,000 refugee visas, and 70,000 tonnes of coal to Ukraine.
It goes without saying that Australia should be doing everything in its power to help Ukraine in the wake of the biggest conflict we’ve seen in Europe this century, but it’s more than a little weird to see Morrison using this as another excuse to spruik coal amid an ongoing climate emergency.