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March 7, 2022

OWN CORRESPONDENT

2 min read

New Zealand plans Russia sanctions law

New Zealand plans Russia sanctions law

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

Story highlights

  • The law is aimed at individuals and companies economically or strategically important to Russia
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin banned from travelling to New Zealand

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NEW Zealand's government said it plans a sanctions law targeting Russia after its response to the invasion of Ukraine fell short of its Western allies.

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the law will be aimed at individuals and companies who are economically or strategically important to Russia and also will allow for sanctions against Belarus because of its complicity in the invasion.

It will give the government the ability to freeze Russian assets in New Zealand, prevent New Zealand from becoming a haven for the wealth of Russians sanctioned by other countries, and stop the super yachts, ships or private jets of sanctioned individuals from entering the country.

The legislation has cross-party support and will be voted on by parliament this week, Ms Ardern said.

New Zealand, an American ally, has been limited in how far it can go in punishing Russia over its invasion of Ukraine because it doesn't have an independent sanctions law.

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It has in the past implemented sanctions decided upon United Nations Security Council, where Russia has a veto as a permanent member. A law specific to Russia's invasion of Ukraine papers over that gap while the government considers whether it should adopt a broader sanctions law, possibly styled after the U.S.’s Magnitsky Act.

"With Russia vetoing U.N. sanctions we must act ourselves to support Ukraine and our partners in opposition to this invasion," Ms Ardern said.

New Zealand also published the names of dozens of Russian officials it has banned from traveling to the country, including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. WSJ

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