New Zealand announces new aid package for Ukraine

New Zealand announces new aid package for Ukraine

The New Zealand government has announced a new package of nearly NZD 26 million ($16 million) in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and increased anti-Russian sanctions.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defense Minister Judith Collins announced this in a joint statement ahead of the second anniversary of the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports, citing the website of the country's government.

The statement says that Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter, which caused immense suffering and has significantly impacted regional and global stability.

"That is why New Zealand remains committed to standing with Ukraine. This support, worth NZD 25.9 million, will bring the total value of New Zealand's assistance pledged in the past two years to more than NZD 100 million [$62 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," Peters said.

Collins, in turn, noted that during the past two years, up to 97 New Zealand military personnel, together with partners in the EU and UK, had been training Ukrainian soldiers and providing intelligence, liaison and logistics support.

Collins said that the country's government decided to extend the deployment of NZDF personnel in support of Ukraine until June 2025. From July 2024, NZDF personnel will conduct specialized training in combat casualty care, combat engineering, leadership, and maritime explosive ordnance disposal training.

The minister said that the personnel would be based throughout Europe, and none would enter Ukraine.

In addition to the extension of the NZDF deployment, the package also includes NZD 6.5 million to the United Kingdom-administered International Fund for Ukraine to procure weapons and ammunition for Ukraine, NZD 7 million in humanitarian assistance to support Ukrainians affected by the war, including those who have been displaced to neighboring countries, and NZD 3 million to the World Bank's Ukraine Relief, Recovery, Reconstruction and Reform Trust Fund.

"New sanctions under the Russia Sanctions Act 2022, focused on countering sanctions evasion, are also being worked on," the statement said.

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