Monday, April 22, 2024

New support pledged for Ukraine on 2nd anniversary of invasion

The Government has marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and an extension of New Zealand military assistance.

“Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” said Foreign Minister, Winston Peters.

“The war has had a horrific human cost, caused immense suffering and has significantly impacted regional and global stability. That is why New Zealand remains committed to standing with Ukraine.”

The newly announced support, worth $25.9 million, will bring the total value of New Zealand’s assistance pledged in the past two years to more than $100 million.

“It demonstrates New Zealand’s unwavering support for Ukraine, and our serious commitment to defending an international rules-based system that reflects our values and supports our interests,” said Mr Peters.

During the past two years, NZDF personnel have been on the ground in Europe and the UK working with like-minded partner countries on support for Ukraine, and that support will continue, said Defence Minister, Judith Collins.

“The Government is pleased to announce NZDF’s meaningful, visible and highly credible deployment of skilled personnel in support of Ukraine will extend until June 2025,” she said.

“Up to 97 NZDF personnel will continue to train Ukrainian soldiers, and provide intelligence, liaison and logistics support.”

In addition to the extension of the NZDF deployment, today’s package also includes:

  • $6.5 million to the United Kingdom-administered International Fund for Ukraine to procure weapons and ammunition for Ukraine;
  • $7 million in humanitarian assistance to support Ukrainians affected by the war, including those who have been displaced to neighbouring countries. New Zealand will partner with international humanitarian agencies and New Zealand humanitarian NGOs to deliver this support;
  • $3 million to the World Bank’s Ukraine Relief, Recovery, Reconstruction and Reform Trust Fund.

New sanctions under the Russia Sanctions Act 2022, focussed on countering sanctions evasion, are also being worked on, the Ministers confirmed.

“It is critical Ukraine knows the international community stands by it, and that Russia understands that countries such as New Zealand support Ukraine’s self-defence. This package demonstrates our commitment to this,” said Minister Collins.

From July, NZDF personnel will conduct specialised training in combat casualty care, combat engineering, leadership, and maritime explosive ordnance disposal training. The personnel will be based throughout Europe, and none will enter Ukraine, the Government said in a statement.

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