Ukraine’s new ambassador to New Zealand wants our Government to supply both military and diplomatic firepower, amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
Vasyl Myroshnychenko was sworn in earlier this week, and sat down for an interview on Q+A with Jack Tame.
He is also the ambassador to Australia, and recently took PM Anthony Albanese on a tour of areas that have suffered massacres, perpetrated by Russian forces.
Myroshnychenko said it would be an honour to bring PM Jacinda Ardern to Ukraine.
“I think that would send a very strong message of solidarity and support,” he said. “New Zealand is our ally for sure in this war.”
“That would be very important for Ukraine to get this support from New Zealand, given the reputation of New Zealand globally, and given the strong voice of your Prime Minister Jacinda globally.”
Outside of that diplomatic pressure, the ambassador wants New Zealand to provide military hardware.
“We’re outnumbered, we’re outgunned,” he conceded. “We don’t have the weapons the Russians have.
“Whatever you can give, we’d be very thankful for that. Any light artillery, any light vehicles like armoured personnel vehicles. We need that to transport our personnel to the front lines.”
Myroshnychenko said he hoped New Zealand would also assist in the reconstruction of Ukraine, both on a short and long term basis.
In the immediate term, retaken areas need schools and hospitals to be rebuilt, in order for people to return.
But he added that other countries have been “adopting” regions for rebuilding, “so maybe I could pitch an ANZAC adoption, and Australia and New Zealand could go together.”
So far in New Zealand, Myroshnychenko has been meeting with various ministers, including Defence Minister Peeni Henare and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
He told Q+A he was moved by Mahuta offering a “prayer for the dead people of Ukraine in the Māori language,” and suggested that there were similarities between New Zealand and Ukraine in following an “indigenous foreign policy.”
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