New Zealand to toughen sanctions against Russia


New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand hoped to amend the national legislation on foreign investment next week to amplify sanctions against Russia.

This is in retaliation for its actions in Ukraine, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday.

Currently, New Zealand drew on the targeted sanction on Russia’s export and travel restrictions.

However, the government intended to tighten its reaction to the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine, taking a cue from other countries.

According to Ardern, amendments to the Overseas Investment Act as well as the adoption of new Russia-targeted legislation will enable New Zealand to ensure a much more comprehensive response to Moscow’s actions.

“We are pursuing new measures to target Russian investment, including measures to target financial institutions in New Zealand, including separate, but Russian targeted specific legislation,’’ Ardern was quoted as saying by RNZ radio.

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In a speech to the New Zealand parliament, Ardern stressed that the government continued to “engage with international partners over the collective action we can all take.’’

He added that Russia would face a significant cost for its actions.

Russia’s special operation in Ukraine was initiated on Thursday in response to a call for help from the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics against the intensifying aggression of Ukrainian troops.

In return, the U.S. and its European allies had introduced sanctions targeting several major Russian banks and high-rank Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, as well as ousting Russia from the SWIFT financial system.

The sanctions had been joined by various other countries, including Japan and Australia which imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans.

These were mulling new targeted penalties to freeze assets and restrict travel against Russia’s most influential political and military officials.

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