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Russia-Ukraine war: Government announces further sanctions against Russian-supporting entities

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The New Zealand Government has sanctioned a further 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters said: “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“New Zealand condemns all entities and individuals providing this military support,” Peters said.

“As part of this new tranche of sanctions, New Zealand is targeting individuals and entities who are involved with the transfer of weaponry from the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North Korea] into Russia, for use against Ukraine, as well as Iranian actors involved in the provision of military assistance to Russia.”

Peters said the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia facilitates its illegal war in Ukraine.

“These sanctions also target those facilitating the forced relocation of Ukrainian children to Russia and Russian-occupied Ukraine.

“In continuing to facilitate the deportation of Ukrainian children, Russia is seeking to advance its objectives in invading Ukraine, including efforts to undermine Ukraine’s identity as a sovereign country.”

In March 2023, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova on allegations they facilitated the forced deportation of thousands of children from Ukraine to Russia.

With this announcement, New Zealand has imposed sanctions on more than 1,700 individuals and entities since the Russia Sanctions Act entered into force in March 2022, along with a range of trade measures.

A group of three Ukrainian MPs and the Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, visited Parliament at the start of this month and met with Peters, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Speaker of the House Gerry Brownlee.

It was headed by Dr Galyna Mykhailiuk, representative of the President of Ukraine in the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) and included MPs Iaroslav Zhelezniak and Olga Koval.

The group extended an invitation to their New Zealand counterparts to visit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

However, Brownlee said that while he was keen to make the visit happen one day, it was currently impractical.

“They did invite us for a reciprocal visit and we would of course want to make that visit at some point, but we also discussed the fact that in their current situation, it’s not a practical opportunity for a parliamentary delegation,” he said.

In February, the Government sent $25.9 million in aid to Ukraine, including $6.5m to purchase weapons, the first such aid in nearly 18 months.

The announcement was made to coincide with the two-year anniversary of war breaking out and includes an extension to the deployment of up to 97 New Zealand Defence Force personnel to Europe to train Ukrainian soldiers and provide logistical support.

The support brings New Zealand’s total aid to Ukraine to more than $100m.

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