Peters appoints new Ambassador to Russia

  • Winston Peters
Foreign Affairs

New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia will be career diplomat Chris Elder, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

“Russia’s political weight and its considerable economic potential make it an important partner for New Zealand.

“It is a major country, spanning Europe and Asia. It has a global reach and growing interest in the Asia Pacific region.

“New Zealand’s relations with Russia are friendly and constructive.

“This year the Governor General visited Moscow and St Petersburg and two Royal New Zealand Navy ships had a very successful goodwill visit to Vladivostock.

“Last month, at the APEC ministerial meeting in South Korea, the Russian Foreign Minister and I signed an Antarctic cooperation statement allowing for increased political, scientific, ecological and environmental consultation within the context of the Antarctic Treaty System.

“Both New Zealand and Russia are committed to deepening bilateral relations and there is potential for growth in the trade and economic area.

“New Zealand was one of the first countries to conclude its WTO access negotiations with Russia, which is expected to join the WTO soon,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Elder has had postings to London, Tokyo and Beijing. He was posted to the latter twice, most recently as Ambassador from 1993-1998.

His last assignment was as Ambassador to Indonesia, and prior to that he was political and security deputy secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington.

He will replace Stuart Prior in March.