| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

New Zealand to legislate wider sanctions on Russia over Ukraine invasion

The government of New Zealand announced on Monday that it will draft legislation to empower it to impose sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

If passed, it will be the first time New Zealand has imposed sanctions on a country on its own.

The sanctions, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, will allow the country to freeze Russian assets in the country, prevent people and companies from moving their money and assets here to avoid sanctions imposed by other countries, and prevent super yachts, ships, and aircraft from entering the country’s waters or airspace.

It has also issued a list prohibiting 100 people from visiting New Zealand.

Russia’s efforts in Ukraine are referred to as a “special operation.”

Previously, New Zealand could only apply sanctions if they were imposed by the United Nations Security Council. Because Russia has the ability to veto sanctions, the Security Council will be unable to apply them.

The government was forced to introduce the new legislation, according to Ardern, due to limitations in the current multilateral system.

“Ultimately, if we had a more functional security council, we would not be facing this issue in the first place,” Ardern added.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine drew virtually universal condemnation around the world, drove more than 1.5 million Ukrainians from their homes, and prompted broad Western sanctions aimed at crippling Russia’s economy.

  • Reuters