Russia Sanctions Entire New Zealand Parliament, Including Jacinda Ardern

By Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australian and New Zealand national affairs. Got a tip? Contact her at rebecca.zhu@epochtimes.com.au.
April 8, 2022 Updated: April 8, 2022

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it has blacklisted the entire New Zealand (NZ) parliament from entering the country, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Governor-General Cindy Kiro, and the country’s top spy chiefs.

The step to blacklist all 130 of NZ’s leaders and MPs was to “reciprocate” Wellington’s “unfriendly actions” of joining the United States and other allies in imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and alleged war crimes.

It follows the same sanctions on all 228 Australian federal MPs and senators.

The Russian foreign ministry accused NZ of “lacking independence” in its own foreign policy for following the leaders of the “collective West.”

It added that any further “anti-Russian” actions, including further sanctions and the incitement of a negative attitude, would be “resolutely rebuffed.”

This comes after the NZ government rolled out a second wave of sanctions on Russian oligarchs with close ties to President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin on April 5.

“This list includes some of Russia’s richest businesspeople, as well as chairs and chief executives of some of Russia’s biggest companies,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.

Epoch Times Photo
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta talks to the media during a press conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 22, 2021. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Currently, a total of 507 Russian individuals are sanctioned by the NZ government, banning them from entering NZ, moving assets to NZ, and using NZ financial systems.

NZ also followed up with trade sanctions, slapping a 35 percent tariff on all Russian imports, the nation’s most significant economic response to the Russian invasion to date.

Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said tariffs would work in conjunction with the international community to pressure President Vladimir Putin.

“These trade sanctions, in addition to the other measures taken already, work in tandem with Ukraine and international partners to put the most pressure possible on Putin’s regime to cease hostilities,” he said on April 6.

Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador remains in New Zealand.

Ardern said the country was using “far more powerful tools” against Russia while keeping diplomatic options open.

“When it comes to expelling ambassadors that also means you lose your diplomatic representation,” she told reporters on April 5.

However, she said expelling the Russian ambassador was an “absolute option” for and would not be ruled out.

The government is also being pressured to provide lethal aid to Ukraine, like other countries, including Australia, have done.

Mahuta told Morning Report that the support NZ could provide was limited compared to other countries.

“The question we have to ask is what can we do to respond immediately to support an international response what do we have access to and what will make the biggest impact?” she said. “We cannot compete with countries who are making huge pledges and have within their defence force a huge amount of assets.”

Australia has sent approximately $191.5 million (US$145 million) in military aid to Ukraine to date, including 20 Australian-made Bushmaster military vehicles.

Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australian and New Zealand national affairs. Got a tip? Contact her at rebecca.zhu@epochtimes.com.au.