On the first anniversary of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, Foreign Minister, Nanaia Manhuta says New Zealand’s resolve to stand against Putin’s war remains undiminished.
“Over the last year, this conflict has cost thousands of innocent lives, uprooted families, transformed once peaceful cities into battlegrounds, and destroyed livelihoods,” Ms Mahuta said.
“Today we have announced one of the largest rounds of sanctions against Russia to date, a further demonstration of Aotearoa New Zealand’s strong condemnation of Russia’s illegal action.”
The new sanctions against 87 Russian individuals is New Zealand’s second largest round of sanctions yet. The group includes political actors who have strategic relevance to Russia, and proximity to Putin.
“It also includes Members of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, who sought to legitimise the attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty through sham referenda in the illegally annexed regions of Ukraine,” the Minister said.
“The military personnel we have chosen to sanction have had active roles in the conflict.
“As with our previous sanctions, these automatically extend to relatives and associates of listed persons.”
She said the sanctions complement Aotearoa’s broader response providing military, humanitarian, legal and financial support to Ukraine.
“The extent of the measures taken by Aotearoa New Zealand to condemn Russia’s illegal invasion, and support Ukraine’s self-defence, is unprecedented, and our contributions have been welcomed by Ukraine, and our international partners.”
Russia’s actions continue to have implications for global peace, security, and economic stability, which impact Aotearoa New Zealand, she said.
“Ukraine’s self-defence is also a fight to defend core principles that New Zealanders hold dear: territorial integrity; freedom fundamental human rights; and an international rules-based system that we rely on for our peace and prosperity.”
“On March 9 2022, only weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, Parliament unanimously passed the Russia Sanctions Act, enabling Aotearoa New Zealand to respond to Russia’s actions in a practical way and join global efforts to undermine Russia’s war machine. Since then we have sanctioned over 1,000 individuals, over 350 entities, and implemented comprehensive trade measures.
“A year on from Russia’s senseless invasion, our call to President Putin remains the same. We continue to call on Russia to act consistently its international obligations, cease Russia’s military aggression, withdraw troops and then return to meaningful diplomatic negotiations.”
Aotearoa New Zealand will continue to stand in steadfast support of Ukraine, and its people, said Ms Mahuta.
Meanwhile, the United Nations is today expected to vote on a resolution demanding Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine.
More information about sanctions, travel bans, and export controls against Russia and Belarus, as well as diplomatic, military and economic support to Ukraine, can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website here.