New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned from visiting Russia

PM Jacinda Ardern on Ukraine sanctions, rent freezes

All 120 members of Parliament, Governor-General Cindy Kiro, the country’s spy chiefs, and certain Defense Force figures are among the 130 people on the blacklist.

Russia has released a ‘blacklist’ of New Zealand figures, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other MPs, banning them from entering the country.

In a statement posted on Russia’s foreign ministry website, Wellington is chastised for taking a “Russophobic” path and obediently following the lead of other Western countries.

It’s in response to new federal sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been informed of the prohibitions overnight by the Moscow embassy, and they were in accordance with those imposed on New Zealand’s partners, according to a Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

Given the prohibitions on more than 500 Russian and Belarusian members of the political, military, and business elite, the spokesperson said it was only a matter of time before Russia retaliated to New Zealand’s penalties.

New Zealand Friday placed a 35 percent duty on all Russian goods in response to “abhorrent and despicable” atrocities committed against Ukrainian nationals, according to the government.

It’s New Zealand’s first tariffs since the World Trade Organisation was founded, and the government feels the rate implies that exporting from Russia to New Zealand is unlikely to be profitable.

Al Gillespie, an international law professor at Waikato University, said the blacklist was to be expected, that it would likely grow over time, and that it would likely remain for the duration of the fight.

READ ALSO: Japan to stop import of Russian coal in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

“This isn’t the end of the list; it’s probably just the beginning, and as both countries’ dissatisfaction develops, the list will be expanded to include… everyone who’s seen as influential within the country, and potentially certain people who are symbolic as well.”

Similar levies might be imposed in retaliation for New Zealand’s, he added, but the bigger issue to monitor would be the expulsion of lower-level personnel from embassies, as other EU countries have done.

“New Zealand, Australia, America, and the United Kingdom haven’t done it yet, but I expect it will be the next step.”

The ambassador’s removal would not be in New Zealand’s best interests, he argued, because the country’s line of communication with Moscow would be cut off, putting its citizens at risk.

“It’s critical that the government, while dealing with its Russian considerations here, does not allow it to devolve into hysteria, because if it occurs, Russia will retaliate against Kiwis over there.”

He claimed that the nature of the conflict had evolved to the point where supplying weapons to Rusisa might now be appropriate.

“I believe it has completely altered the war’s dynamic.” It’s not simply an illegitimate war; it’s also rife with crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“If the fight spreads east and becomes larger – and projections suggest it will become more fierce than we’ve seen so far – the Ukrainians will require more military help than they have so far.”

Separately, the UN Human Rights Council has suspended Russia due to claims of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” by invading Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

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