Wellington, 26 February 2022 (TDI): Foreign Affairs Office of New Zealand has explicated the stance of New Zealand against Russia that the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has strongly condemned Russia’s forcible invasion of Ukraine.

New Zealand has joined the international community to emphasize Russia to halt its military operation in Ukraine.

Narrative of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Russia has launched an attack. It is expected that Russia’s decision may result in the loss of an inconceivable number of innocent lives. Prime Minister Jacinda further said assertively that New Zealand urges Russia to do the right thing.

Russia must promptly halt its military operations in Ukraine, preceded by the permanent withdrawal of the troops, in order to avoid a catastrophic and unnecessary loss of innocent lives.

Further, she stated that despite gratuitous bloodshed and damage, all parties can find resolution through dialogue. New Zealand continues to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has co-sponsored the draft UNSC resolution.

New Zealand has called on all Member States to reaffirm the UN Charter and to co-sponsor the said resolution from the United States at UN’s Platform to stand with Ukraine.

Views of Foreign Affairs Minister of New Zealand

Foreign Affairs Minister of New Zealand namely Nanaia Mahuta has regularly stated her country’s strong support for international diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the Ukraine conflict.

Given Russia’s disdain for its efforts, Russia must now face the consequences of its decision to invade. Russia’s use of the veto to prevent the UN Security Council from taking action on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has greatly saddened Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZ Government’s Response Measures for New Zealanders

Presently, 32 New Zealanders registered with SafeTravel are in Ukraine. Hence it is the contemplative part for NZ Government. According to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs office, 17 New Zealanders have left since their travel advisory shifted to “leave immediately” was issued on February 12.

This included some who were not registered on the SafeTravel. New Zealand’s Embassy is assisting its citizens incessantly. A slighter ratio of New Zealanders is still waiting to see the transitional situation.

Beyond that New Zealand government issued ardent advice for the citizens not to travel to Ukraine. Further, the government is encouraging its stuck citizens to remain where they are until it would be safe to leave.

According to the Foreign Office, New Zealanders should constantly be attentive and aware of their surroundings, putting their immediate safety first. They should leave Ukraine as soon as it is safe to do so.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s ability to give consular assistance to New Zealanders in Ukraine is limited. Ukraine is represented by the New Zealand Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.

For the security of the citizens, advice has been issued for New Zealanders in Ukraine who have not yet registered with SafeTravel to do so as soon as possible.

Response Measures Against Russia

The government has outlined the first steps that Aotearoa New Zealand would take in reaction to a Russian invasion. While New Zealand lacks the capacity to impose sanctions outside of the UN framework, the government is willing to adopt actions in coordination with allies.

Additional steps are being discussed yet. Prohibition notice has been issued by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Gazette on the export of all goods intended for use by the Russian military and security forces.

These also include any armed force, a paramilitary force, police force, or militia. Furthermore, New Zealand has taken action against key individuals who have been identified as being responsible for or involved.

These are individuals that undermine or threaten Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence. This list is in accordance with foreign partners and is constantly being updated. They will be updated on a regular basis to reflect future developments.

According to Foreign Ministry, the New Zealand government has decided to put bilateral Foreign Ministry negotiations with Russia on hold until further notice. New Zealand Government candidly explicated this.

These actions of the New Zealnad are a reasonable and proportionate first step in responding to Russian aggression. More apposite responses will be considered in the future.