NZ to provide more military assistance to Ukraine
New Zealand is providing further military support to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.
“We will deploy nine New Zealand Defence Force personnel to the United Kingdom and Belgium, to support our partners in intelligence and engagement work, over the next three months,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Seven NZDF intelligence analysts will go to the UK to assist with the heightened demand for intelligence assessments. Some of our people will directly support intelligence work on the Ukraine war, and some will join existing teams focused on other parts of the world.
“Two other officers will deploy to the UK and Belgium to enhance our engagement with, and understanding of, partner activities related to Ukraine.
“One will work with the existing Defence Attaché and NZ military representative to NATO, and one will work within the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters.
“Cabinet has also approved the use of the Defence Force’s open source intelligence capabilities for three months to support the UK and other European partners.
“This military support is in addition to the $6 million in humanitarian assistance, and the establishment of a special Ukraine visa for family members of Ukrainian New Zealanders, for which 264 applications have been made and 46 visas have been issued.
“The Russia Sanctions Act has already designated over 460 individuals and entities with the Government clear that they will be announcing more targets and prohibitions in the coming days, weeks, and months.
“We know that sanctions globally have been making it harder for the Russian regime to fund its war. The rouble has collapsed in value, and Russia is on its way out from being in the top 20 economies in the world.
“And New Zealand is playing its part in this,” Jacinda Ardern said.
The Minister of Defence, Peeni Henare, said he was pleased New Zealand could offer new measures to help support partners at this difficult time.
“We must continue to help Ukraine defend itself, and New Zealand will stand with the international community, as we have done numerous times before,” Peeni Henare said.
“This follows on from the New Zealand Government support of $5 million announced last week for non-lethal military assistance, and the provision of defence equipment like body armour and helmets, which will be dispatched from Ohakea this week.
“In addition to that kit New Zealand has secured communications equipment to provide to Ukraine, working with Tait Communications. This will come from the $5 million contribution announced last week, with the remainder of this money going to the NATO Trust Fund for Ukraine,” Peeni Henare said.
Ukraine has continued to request such support from international partners, including New Zealand, directly and through organisations such as NATO and the European Union.
New Zealand has in the past sent defence intelligence personnel to active deployments overseas, such as in Afghanistan,” Peeni Henare said.