Ukraine. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta on New Zealand’s decision to send non-lethal military aid

Many other countries are better placed than New Zealand to supply arms to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.

Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Photo: Pool Image / Robert Kitchin / Stuff

New Zealand has pledged an additional $5 million to support Ukraine, including a contribution to a NATO trust fund that provides immediate non-lethal military assistance like fuel, military rations, communications and military first aid kits.

The government is also sending surplus defense equipment, consisting of body armor, helmets, camouflage vests and harness straps.

The decision was made based on requests Ukraine has made to the international community and what New Zealand can provide immediately, Mahuta said.

“The protective equipment we have offered is currently in Defense inventory – we are able to release it relatively quickly.”

Asked if the arms shipment would constitute a change in New Zealand’s diplomatic response to the crisis, Mahuta said morning report that would be the case, given the $6 million in humanitarian aid.

New Zealand supported Ukraine’s efforts to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, but there were many other countries with “stronger supplies” supplying arms and other lethal equipment, it said. she declared.

However, the government continued to monitor the situation.

“We continue to assess and calibrate the nature of this effort as the war continues as potential further escalation occurs.”

An international tribunal should determine whether Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine were a war crime, the minister said.

“But beyond a shadow of a doubt, what he is doing is unfair, unprovoked and wrong.”

MARIUPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 20: Civilians trapped in the city of Mariupol under Russian attacks are evacuated in groups under the control of pro-Russian separatists, via other towns, in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 20, 2022.

Civilians trapped in Mariupol are evacuated in groups under the control of pro-Russian separatists on March 20.
Photo: AFP

Ukraine’s allies delivered arms shipments to bolster its army against the Russian invasion. Russia criticized these deliveries from NATO member states.

U.S. assistance includes a wide range of military equipment, from 25,000 sets of body armor and helmets to rifles and grenade launchers, thousands of other anti-tank weapons, and more than 20 million of cartridges.

Besides the Javelin missiles, the most powerful weapons include 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, once used to shoot down Soviet aircraft in Afghanistan.

– RNZ/Reuters/BBC