By Islamuddin Sajid
ANKARA (AA) - New Zealand on Monday has announced a further $5 million assistance to provide non-lethal weapons to Ukraine, officials said.
The funds will be transferred to the NATO Trust Fund to provide fuel, military rations, communications and military first aid kits to support Ukraine, said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta in a joint statement.
Earlier, Wellington had announced a $6 million humanitarian assistance to support the war-torn country.
“As I confirmed to (Ukrainian) Prime Minister (Denys) Shmyhal in our weekend call, New Zealand’s support for Ukraine is unwavering, and we will continue to identify the ways in which we can help provide critical assistance to combat Russia’s aggression,” Ardern said.
“We are playing our part in the coordinated global effort to support Ukraine. By contributing directly to the NATO Trust Fund, Ukrainian forces on the ground can benefit from the additional assistance immediately," she added.
New Zealand have also decided to send tactical defense equipment such as body armor plates, helmets and camouflage vests and harness webbing.
“The NZDF is now working urgently on the details of how this much needed equipment will be swiftly delivered to Ukraine,” said the Foreign Minister Mahuta.
On Friday, New Zealand imposed sanctions on top Russian officials and entities, with the pledge of further action in the days to come.
Under the sanctions, the country imposed a travel ban on 364 additional Russian political and military officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and other top officials, and freezing their assets.
According to UN estimates, at least 902 civilians have been killed and around 1,459 injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war on its western neighbor on Feb. 24.
The UN has said the real figures are likely to be much higher as conditions on the ground make verification difficult.
UN data shows over 3.38 million refugees have fled from Ukraine since the war began, while some 6.5 million are estimated to be internally displaced in the country.