Australia stands by aid after Ukraine minister resigns

Australia's foreign affairs department has backed the integrity of its aid to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy moved to replace his defence minister following corruption claims. 

Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has submitted his resignation but denied the allegations.

He said he had been targeted by a smear campaign after local media outlets accused his ministry of corruption, including allegations of buying food at inflated prices.

Mr Reznikov was crucial in lobbying Western nations to provide military support, including tanks and rocket artillery and the promise of fighter jets.

Australia has provided $710 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including 120 armoured Bushmaster vehicles. 

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said ministerial appointments were a matter for Ukraine. 

"Australia will continue to provide substantial military and other assistance to Ukraine, to help empower Ukraine to end Russia’s illegal and immoral war on its own terms," the spokesperson said in a statement. 

"DFAT has robust systems and procedures to protect public funds, assets, and information from fraud and corruption."

Australia continues to roll out military aid pledged in June, which included armoured personnel carriers and medium tanks.

Mr Reznikov is expected to be replaced by Rustem Umerov, who is head of the country's main privatisation fund.

with Reuters

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