Doing what we can

There’s not a lot that a small country like New Zealand can do when a large power like Russia threatens another country.

But we’re doing what we can.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully called the Russian ambassador in over the escalation of tensions.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the Russian Ambassador was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade this afternoon over the escalation of tensions in Ukraine.

“On my instructions the Russian Ambassador has been called in to the Ministry to hear directly New Zealand’s views on the situation in the Ukraine,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand is deeply alarmed at the escalation of tensions in Ukraine over recent days and we condemn the breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We understand Russia has significant interests especially in the Crimean Peninsula, however they need to pursue these interests in a manner that is consistent with Russia’s treaty obligations, international law and accepted international norms.

“New Zealand calls on the Russian Government to take steps to reduce tensions and to engage in consultations with other affected parties to achieve this objective.”

We’re also using trade as a lever:

Prime Minister John Key ordered Trade Minister Tim Groser home from Russia today, ending for now any further discussions on a Russian free trade deal that has been three years in the making as Russia ratchets up pressure on Ukraine on the Crimean Peninsula.

Groser had been in Moscow for trade talks ahead of a possible visit to the Russian capital by Key in a fortnight as part of a global swing through China and Europe that will take in meetings with senior Chinese leadership and an international Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands.

Key said he was only missing Moscow on the forthcoming trip because suggested dates had not worked for the Russian president Vladimir Putin, although continuing to discuss an FTA with Russia in the present circumstances was not appropriate.

“I don’t think we could seriously, even if Mr Groser could tie up a deal this afternoon, (sign a free trade agreement) at the same time as we are expressing our deep concern about the threat to sovereignty in Ukraine,” said Key. . .

I wouldn’t go so far as this:

But trade, or a threat to it, is the strongest way we can condemn Russia’s actions.






3 Responses to Doing what we can

  1. Andrei says:

    Crimea has been part of Russia since about the time Captain Cook explored these shores.

    The French and the British had a go at relieving Russia of it more than 150 years ago, you might recall, indeed Dunedin even has a suburb named for a Crimean town.

    Ukraine of course was a geographical region of Europe which is why even today you will see it written as The Ukraine in English and has never ever been an Independent Nation until 20 years ago when it became one with borders that bore little relationship to the Historical region though most but not all of that region is currently contained within it.

    Be that as it may, since the Nation exists the people who live there need to work out by themselves a way of making it work without idiot Western agitators stirring up ancient emnities in order to advance the interests of the latest Western European Empire and the expansion of its influence, well shall we say into the ancient lands of the Rus.

    I have been watching with dismay, for some time, and leaving comments on this very blog expressing my grave disquiet at events and more or less predicting this outcome and fearing that there is worse to come.

    The utter stupidity and ignorance of Western leadership in this matter defies belief


  2. Andrei says:

    Its good to see humor still thrives – sign spotted in Odessa at a pro Russian rally

    мы не мясо жирафа для Европейского Союза

    We are not giraffe meat for the European Union


  3. Andrei says:

    This is hilarious – I haven’t laughed so hard in ages


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