NZ announces new support for Ukraine

Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance.

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

“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.

“This 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,” Mr Peters says.

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, Ms Collins says. 

 “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.

“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.

“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,” Ms Collins says.

Note for editors:

From July 2024 NZDF support will evolve to match the changing needs of Ukraine and its partners. Reflective of this, 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.

Since the invasion on 24 February 2022, New Zealand has pledged more than  $100 million in financial assistance. With today’s announcement, that includes:

  • Support for military training and equipment valued at $77 million, including up to 97 NZDF personnel deployed to Europe. 
  • $21.93 million in humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected Ukraianian communities in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries.  
  • $5.2 million in support for international legal processes and human rights monitoring.
  • Wide-ranging, comprehensive sanctions against organisations and individuals supporting Russia.