New Zealand will deploy a C-130H Hercules and a 50-strong team to Europe to further support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced the deployment on Monday, revealing the country would provide NZ$13 million (US$8.9M) in further support. This will include a contribution via the United Kindgom to procure weapons and ammunition.
“Our support is to assist the Ukraine Army to repel a brutal Russian invasion because peace in the region of Europe is essential for global stability,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Such a blatant attack on a country’s sovereignty is a threat to all of us and that’s why we too have a role to play.
“The global response has seen an unprecedented amount of military support pledged for Ukraine, and more help to transport and distribute it is urgently needed, and so we will do our bit to help.”
The Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H Hercules transport aircraft and 50 support personnel will deployed to Europe for two months. A further NZDF 8-person team of logistic specialists will support the international donor coordination center in Germany with the flow of aid and supplies to Ukraine.
The extra $13.1 million will include $7.5M to contribute to weapons and ammunition procurement by the United Kingdom, $4.1m to support commercial satellite access for the Ukrainian Defence Intelligence, $1m to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and $500,000 for the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court.
“Our support to date has been comprehensive and covers every aspect of this conflict – humanitarian, legal, military, transportation, and people – and is in addition to the economic and trade sanctions we have put in place to help cripple the Russian economy,” Jacinda Ardern said.
Over the next two months, our C-130 will join a chain of military aircraft from partner nations, travelling throughout Europe, via the United Kingdom, carrying much-needed equipment and supplies to key distribution centers, but at no point will they enter Ukraine, nor have they been asked to.”
New Zealand’s defense minister, Peeni Henare, said he was pleased New Zealand could offer the additional measures to both support our partners and Ukraine.
“These measures today follow decisions in recent weeks by the government to help support Ukraine, including the supply of a range of defense equipment requested by Ukraine, and the deployment of nine defense intelligence and liaison personnel.
“This deployment is in response to a direct ask by the UK, which identified that New Zealand could play a tangible role in supporting what has become an enormous logistical task,” Peeni Henare said.
Monday’s announcement brings New Zealand’s total contribution to Ukraine to $30 million and 67 people deployed, the government said.