New Zealand to apply trade sanctions in response to Russian atrocities

As part of the Government’s ongoing response to the conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor have announced significant new sanctions against Russia.

The Government have announced that they will apply 35% tariffs to all imports from Russia, and extend the existing export prohibitions to industrial products closely connected to strategic Russian industries. This is New Zealand’s most significant economic response to the Russian invasion to date.

“The images and reports emerging of atrocities committed against civilians in Bucha and other regions of Ukraine is abhorrent and reprehensible, and New Zealand continues to respond to Putin’s mindless acts of aggression,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Under the Russia Sanctions Act, New Zealand will apply tariffs across the board to all Russian imports, as well as ban the export of industrial products such as ICT equipment and engines, sending a clear message that New Zealand will not fund or support the Russia war machine,” Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“These tariff increases work in conjunction with the international community as we seek to pressure Putin’s regime. These trade sanctions, in addition to the other measures taken already, work in tandem with Ukraine and international partners to put the most pressure possible on Putin’s regime to cease hostilities,” Damien O’Connor said.

“Officials remain in regular contact with businesses to ensure the impacts of international and domestic sanctions are understood,” Damien O’Connor said.

“We continue to call for Russia to be held to account for the war crimes and atrocities committed against innocent civilians. Alongside 41 other countries, New Zealand has announced its support for the International Criminal Court prosecution and has provided funding to the investigation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  

“Our response to the war in Ukraine is the most significant response to an international crisis we’ve undertaken as a nation in recent history – including rolling out targeted legislation. We continue to work at pace and expect to roll out further measures under the Russia Sanctions Act to support Ukraine and stop those associated with Russia’s forced aggression,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Regulations will now be prepared to give effect to these policy decisions, to enable them to enter into force from 25 April.

Further information on sanctions taken under the Russia Sanctions Act 2022 can be found on the MFAT website: www.mfat.govt.nz/Russia-Sanctions