Further sanctions have been imposed on Russia, with members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite now targeted, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced.
“Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to help them are our ongoing sanctions and supporting them through the conflict, as we continue to do,” said Ms Mahuta.
“By targeting these individuals we join global efforts in placing pressure on Putin and those supporting his illegal war in Ukraine.”
Aotearoa New Zealand first moved against powerful and wealthy individuals in Russia with sanctions on political elites in March and May of this year.
The newest sanctions target 19 additional members of Putin’s inner circle who support the illegal invasion of Ukraine and who have been rewarded for their loyalty with wealth and influence, the Minister said.
Those sanctioned today include Federal Ministers, non-permanent members of Russia’s Security Council, relatives of Putin, and Ramzan Kadyrov, the President of the Chechen Republic, part of the Russian Federation.
“These individuals are part of a network of influence around Putin and have used their positions to threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Ms Mahuta.
“Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has already caused thousands of deaths, a massive humanitarian crisis and untold suffering. Any steps by Russia that risk a further escalation of the war in Ukraine are reckless and irresponsible.
“Russia’s so-called ‘referenda’ in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine constitute a new and additional act of aggression and a breach of fundamental rules of international law. Aotearoa New Zealand strongly condemns Russia’s actions.
“Since the passing of the Russia Sanctions Act in March, Aotearoa New Zealand has imposed sanctions on over 1000 individuals and entities, a key part of our efforts to hold Russia accountable and support Ukraine,” she said.
The Russia Sanctions Act allows for a wide range of measures on the named individuals and others, including travel bans, asset freezes, prohibitions on financial dealings and bans on ships or aircraft entering New Zealand.
More information about sanctions, travel bans, and export controls against Russia; as well as humanitarian, military, and legal support to Ukraine can be found on the MFAT site here.