Nine tons of Icelandic warmth were aboard a Canadian military transport aircraft that left Keflavik Airport headed for Ukraine today. The cargo consists of winter equipment for the armed forces and the people of Ukraine. On the one hand this equipment is the result of voluntary work made by thousands of Icelanders, and on the other hand purchases of various winter supplies by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Earlier this autumn, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued a call for winter equipment for the armed forces of Ukraine. This equipment, along with medical supplies, was transported today with a Canadian military transport aircraft to Ukraine. The cargo also contains 3500 pairs of wool socks knitted by Icelanders for Ukraine as part of the “Sendum hlýju” project and other wool garments knitted or donated by Icelandic and Ukrainian knitters at knitters’ gatherings. Additionally, the Ministry purchased cold weather clothing and shoes from Fjallakofinn, 66°N and Dynjandi for close to 50 million ISK, with an actual value of around 150 million.
“The cold hand of winter is slowly extending over Ukraine and as we have seen the invading Russian forces are using it as a weapon in the ongoing conflict. As a nation without a military, we cannot supply the Ukrainian armed forces with military equipment, but we can send them warm clothing which is no less important on the bitterly cold battlefield than conventional weapons,” says Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gísladóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Staff from the Icelandic Coast Guard packed the goods over the weekend and placed them on pallets that were then loaded aboard the Canadian military transport in the secure area at Keflavik Airport. In addition to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, representatives of “Sendum hlýju” and the knitters’ gathering were present, as well as Jeannette Menzies, Ambassador of Canada in Iceland.
“We owe gratitude to everyone involved in sending all this warmth to Ukraine today. I would like to mention the companies with whom we have had good cooperation, the Coast Guard which has handled the logistics and the Canadian Air Force which transports the shipment to its destination. And last but not least the crocheters and knitters in Iceland deserve special thanks for showing their caring in such a tangible way,” says Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gísladóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs.