Prior Group - Russia - New Zealand - Новая Зеландия - Россия

New Zealand puts FTA with Russia on hold over Ukraine crisis Print E-mail

March 03, 2014 Source: ONE News New Zealand has put a free trade deal with Russia on hold over its deployment of troops to Ukraine.

Prime Minister John Key has told Trade Minister Tim Groser to leave Moscow tonight, saying Russia has infringed the sovereignty of Ukraine and that is unacceptable.

Following Russia's capture of the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine says it is "on the brink of disaster" and has put its military on high alert.

The Government has been negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus for the last three years and Mr Groser has reported making good progress on it in Moscow over the last few days, Mr Key says.

"Obviously in light of the developments in the Ukraine over the last few days, I can't rule out that there may be some impact on the timetable for concluding the FTA," he says.

"While a delay would be disappointing, we take our international responsibilities seriously and intend to respond in a manner that is in line with the countries who share our values and perspectives."

Mr Key was at one stage hoping to go to Moscow to sign a FTA after his upcoming trip to China in two weeks.

But he says continuing to discuss an FTA with Russia in the present circumstances would not be appropriate.

Ambassador summoned

The Russian Ambassador was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington this afternoon and told of New Zealand's concerns.

"We have made clear that we see Russia's actions in Ukraine to be unacceptable. And we have called on all parties to act responsibly and move forward on the basis of dialogue and diplomacy rather than the threat of force," Mr Key says.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand is deeply alarmed at the escalation of tensions in Ukraine over recent days "and we condemn the breach of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity".

Labour support

Labour's Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says any further escalation of the situation in Ukraine could ultimately threaten the peace and security of Europe.

"Given the seriousness of the situation we support the withdrawal of Tim Groser from negotiations over the free trade agreement with Russia," Mr Shearer says.

"Ukraine's territorial integrity must be preserved and any foreign forces should leave the country immediately.

"The prospect of a divided Ukraine is likely to lead to conflict and could have disastrous knock-on effects across Eastern Europe.


Russia - New Zealand Video

To see the video of Russia Channel showing Russian Rugby Team training in New Zealand, Feb 2011 please go to

Russia - New Zealand Quotes

It's too bad we, Russians, are not green or blue or purple, because if we were, the world would treat us differently. The West expects us to act like they act, they keep criticizing us – and you know why? We look like them. Take the Chinese. Does the West go after them not being democratic, for not living up to western standards? No. Because they look different. Our problem is that we look like Westerners, but in fact we are not, we are different.Andron Konchalovsky

Prior Group Market Reports

Russia - New Zealand History

Every day that we were there the Zealanders would arrive at our sloops at about 10 in the morning and would remain until evening. Having traded their goods they would have lunch with us. They ate our dry bread, peas, kasha and sugar with real appetite. They did not like our salt beef at all and were not great fans of the pork, nor were they able to drink our rum and wine. From time to time they would help our sailors in their work, for which the hardest workers would be rewarded with nails. Sometimes, making merry, they would give us the pleasure of watching their dances and listening to their songs. For this, about 15 men would stand in a single line. One of them, stamping his foot, would begin to sing. In mid-verse there would suddenly be a common, quite quick and wild shout, then they would lift their arms up, extend them, and let them fall, while strongly stamping their feet, distorting their whole bodies and making fierce faces. They would finish this song by going down on one knee and making a frightful, lingering laugh. Our sailors adopted their dance and song very well indeed, and on our sloop at the South Pole where the daily dangers depressed the spirit, they would sometimes cheer everybody up with their imitation (of the haka - translated by Prior Group). N.Galkin, surgeon on board the Russian vessel “Mirny” (Peaceful), during their stay in New Zealand, Queen Charlotte Sound, Russian Expedition, 1820

Follow us on

Twitter: priorgroup

Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul for Belarus in New Zealand

Currency Rate

December 2016

1 NZD = 45.24 RUB

1 NZD = 14,160 BYR

1 NZD = 240.720 KZT

Current Time

Moscow, Russia

Minsk, Belarus

Astana, Kazakhstan

Wellington, New Zealand

Stuart Prior Books

You are here  : Home Russia New Zealand puts FTA with Russia on hold over Ukraine crisis

Strategy Development

- Be among the first to explore

Legal & Financial Advice

- Use the best knowledge present in the market


- For the better future of the Customs Union - New Zealand links