Australia's parliament is preparing to receive an address from Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, at 5:30pm this afternoon.
Parliamentary businesses will be temporarily suspended to give senators the opportunity to gather in the House of Representatives to hear Zelenskyy’s address.
“Today, the President of Ukraine, His Excellency Mr Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will address the Australian Parliament by video link at 5:30 Canberra time.
“Australians have been inspired by President Zelenskyy’s resilience and courage, as he, his Government, and the people of Ukraine defend their homeland against Russia’s brutal, illegal and unjustifiable invasion.
“Australia stands with Ukraine against Russia’s aggression,” read a statement released by the office of the Prime Minister.
Both the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, will welcome Zelenskyy prior to the address which will be conducted via video link. It will come live from Kyiv where Zelenskyy has remained despite heavy shelling in recent weeks.
Ukraine is still under attack from Russian forces, with Vladimir Putin and his government widely condemned for its unprovoked attack and military incursion into Ukraine. Millions of Ukrainians have been made homeless, pouring across the border into Poland.
Zelenskyy has previously addressed the British Parliament, Canadian Parliament, European parliaments, and US Congress about the crisis facing Ukraine.
In other parliamentary addresses, Zelenskyy has told world leaders that he lives in fear of his life, as Russia seeks to win over Ukraine by killing its President after several failed attempts on his life.
Australia has already pledged and sent various lethal and non-lethal aid to the military effort in Ukraine. Morrison’s government, with full support of the Opposition, has placed harsh sanctions on Russia.
Morrison detailed that Australia has 500 individuals and entities under sanction. “This is the largest ever imposition of sanctions by Australia against a single country. Our Sanctions target President Putin and his circle of oligarchs and propagandists, military commanders and members of Parliament, as well as those who facilitated the invasion from outside Russia, including the leadership of neighbouring Belarus.”
Zelenskyy’s addressed can be watched live on the APH website here (link will go live at 5:30).