New Zealand will ban the import of Russian gold, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor announced today.
“Today’s decision further signals Aotearoa New Zealand’s condemnation of Russia’s flagrant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Minister Mahuta said.
“It underscores our intention of ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand does not become a safe haven for Russian assets.
“It also supports international efforts to ensure Russia does not circumvent international sanctions by leveraging its immense gold reserves to finance its illegal war.”
Minister O’Connor said with Russia’s financial system cut off from international markets, New Zealand was moving now to prevent the Kremlin from resorting to propping up the rouble through its holdings of gold.
“Russia’s Central Bank holds extensive gold reserves, estimated to be worth up to US$140bn. Twenty percent of the Russian Central Bank’s reserves are held in gold. Under the Russia Sanctions Act, we are making it illegal for New Zealanders to import gold of Russian origin,” Mr O’Connor said.
Today’s measure follows statements during last week’s G7 Summit on tackling Russia’s revenue from gold, Moscow’s largest export outside of the energy sector. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Japan have so far signalled they will prohibit imports of Russian gold. Australia has also announced it will impose an import ban on gold.
More details will be contained in Regulations which are now being finalised to bring the import ban into effect from 25 July.