Fact sheet

Fact Check: Anthony Albanese says Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine. Is that correct?

Government expenditure International relations International relief Military equipment Military alliances Australia Ukraine

Anthony Albanese says Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine. Experts told Fact Check comparisons of contributions to Ukraine were complicated by a lack of complete data, varied definitions of what constitutes a "contribution" and difficulties in making direct comparisons between countries.

The best available data breaks down single-country donations on the basis of humanitarian, financial and military aid, and also quantifies joint donations from members of the European Union made via multilateral funds. When the euro value of these types of aid is combined, Australia's ranks sixth of the 14 non-NATO donors in the data set.

Measured as a proportion of GDP, Australia slips to seventh. Looking at individual metrics, Australia's ranking ranges from first (for the euro value of bilateral military aid) to equal last (for giving no financial aid). But when calculated as a proportion of GDP, Sweden's bilateral military aid alone is nine times larger than Australia's. In addition, counting only bilateral military aid excludes multilateral contributions made by non-NATO members such as Sweden to Ukraine's military via the EU.

Even if only accounting for bilateral contributions, experts questioned the value of comparing military aid alone when a non-NATO donor such as Japan — which has constitutional constraints on military spending — gave almost three times as much as Australia but chiefly in the form of financial aid. There are other factors such as economic sanctions and the cost of hosting refugees that could be considered a "contribution". However, these forms of support are not readily quantifiable and therefore difficult to compare internationally.

Verdict: doesn't stack up.

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