Ukraine: New Zealand sanctions Russian banks


New Zealand, on Tuesday, announced new sanctions on Russian banks and financial institutions as a response to Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said her country was imposing sanctions on 18 entities, including Russia’s central bank, sovereign wealth fund, and the largest financial institutions in the country.

“These major institutions make up approximately 80 percent of Russia’s total banking assets,” said Mahuta.

“These sanctions are designed to impose an economic and political cost, specifically targeting organisations that finance the continued invasion of Ukraine.

“With this latest round of sanctions, New Zealand is joining countries around the world who have imposed heavy penalties on Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and the system financing his illegal invasion,” she added.

Last month, New Zealand imposed sanctions on Russia, including a travel ban on President Putin and other senior officials, while also imposing a 35% tariff on Russian imports.

Also, at a meeting on Tuesday, Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, and New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, strongly condemned the Russian “invasion” in Ukraine and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces.

“Actions by Russia are a flagrant violation of fundamental principles of international law and risk long-term global instability,” they said in a joint statement issued after the meeting in Singapore.

At least 2,072 civilians have been killed and 2,818 injured in Ukraine so far in the war which started on February 24, according to United Nations estimates, with the true figure believed to be much higher.

More than 4.9 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with over 7 million more internally displaced, said the UN refugee agency.

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