On Monday, March 7, New Zealand announced that the new law would extend its sanctions against Russia and impose travel bans on top Russian leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A joint statement from New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern and Foreign Minister Nanaya Mahuda said the country would introduce its first law in parliament this week to facilitate government use of new sanctions on Russia.
“Russia’s sanctions bill will be passed urgently this week to provide a more comprehensive embargo on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine,” Artern said.
Under the new plan, New Zealand will freeze the assets of Russian officials and prevent individuals and companies from transferring their money and assets from other countries that have already imposed sanctions on Russia.
“Such a bill has never been brought before our parliament, but since Russia has vetoed UN sanctions, we must act to support Ukraine and our allies in opposing this invasion,” Ordern said.
The government has also released a new list of travel bans for President Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mistin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and 98 senior officials and Russian individuals.
After Moscow began its war against Ukraine on February 24, the next day New Zealand banned the export of supplies to the Russian military and security forces, and suspended bilateral foreign ministry consultations until further notice.
“Today we are taking the next step in our response by increasing sanctions in line with the actions of our partners. The new law refers to Russian attacks on Ukraine and will allow your government to impose new sanctions,” Ardern said.
Moreover, the foreign minister called on Moscow to do the right thing, to immediately halt military operations in Ukraine and to withdraw permanently to avoid catastrophic loss of innocent lives.
Russia’s war against Ukraine has drawn outrage from the international community, with the European Union (EU), the UK and the US imposing a series of severe sanctions on Moscow.
Since Russia began its war against the Eastern European country on February 24, at least 364 civilians have been killed and 759 wounded in Ukraine, and it is feared that the actual death toll could be higher, according to UN figures.
More than 1.5 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
* Camilo Hernandez contributed to the writing of this note.
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