Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Midnight mission for first tranche of Russian sanctions

The Government has stepped up its sanctions against Russia with the release of the first tranche of targeted sanctions under the Russia Sanctions Act enacted overnight. 

At midnight, 13 individuals and 19 entities were added to a targeted sanctions list and the coverage of the travel ban was significantly widened.

“The world is united against Putin’s actions in Ukraine, and only one week after passing historic legislation, we are joining the international community in applying our first targeted sanctions,” Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta said.

“This first tranche of sanctions designates an additional 364 political and military individuals to our travel ban list, and places sanctions on Russian Leader Vladimir Putin and the 12 members of his Security Council, one bank and 18 other entities.”

She said the sanctions prevent New Zealand individuals, assets and financial institutions from having dealings with those designated, and prohibits their vessels and aircraft entering New Zealand.

“This ensures that New Zealand individuals or entities doing business with those sanctioned do not support, whether inadvertently or not, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

“These sanctions prevent individuals from travelling to New Zealand and entities from moving assets here, or using our financial system to circumvent sanctions that may be imposed by other countries in the future.

“This is just the start with more sanctions coming over the next few weeks.

“We expect to progressively announce more substantive sanctions as officials work through the appropriate process required under legislation. We want to ensure processing is correct when designating individuals and entities, and reinforcing the international community including our closest partners to place pressure on influential individuals,” said Ms Mahuta.

The Minister said officials were working around the clock to produce designations under New Zealand’s legal thresholds.

“And the Government intends to roll out regulations as swiftly as possible. This includes looking into Russian people with notable investments in New Zealand.”

“These sanctions sends a clear message to Russia about New Zealand’s opposition to its invasion of Ukraine. It is consistent with and reinforces responses from the international community including our closest partners, and will place pressure on influential individuals,” said Ms Mahuta.

A Russia Sanctions Unit has been set up across agencies to take this new function of government forward.

A full list of the individuals and entities impacted by Russia Sanctions Act 2022 can be found on the MFAT website [www.mfat.govt.nz/Russia-sanctions].

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