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

Russia and New Zealand Partnership in the 21 Century

"New Zealand and Russia have long-standing friendly relations established during the Second World War. They are characterised by close people-to-people contacts. It is an important market for New Zealand, and we would welcome further development of our trade links on a mutually beneficial basis," - John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister.

“I believe that agriculture presents great opportunities for fruitful cooperation. The Russian market has capacity for New Zealand agricultural products, in particular, meat and dairy products and fruit. I would also single out tourism as one of the most promising areas. As far as I know, New Zealanders have a great interest in your country’s culture and history and would like to visit the country, particularly Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

I am sure that for many Russians New Zealand is an attractive and interesting tourism destination, and even the geographic distance between our two countries is not an obstacle for them to visit my country. Implementation of joint research projects in the Antarctic also presents interest. As to economic aspects of the bilateral cooperation, investments are a very promising sphere. I would like to wish all the best to the Russian people, and wish them to successfully overcome the effects of the global financial and economic crisis. I am certain that only through common efforts by the international community as a whole we can succeed in this. I have no doubts that our bilateral relations will continue to be stable and will get stronger from year to year”, - John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister.

 

"The history of Russia-New Zealand relations records many examples of close partnership and productive cooperation. People in our country remember the weighty contribution lent to the common victory over Nazism by New Zealand navy men, who during the Second World War took an active part in Northern convoys. It is highly symbolic that it was during that period that Moscow and Wellington established diplomatic ties. It is my belief that further development of two-way cooperation meets the interests of the peoples of Russia and New Zealand and will help to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region,"- Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

"It is significant that official relations between New Zealand and Russia were established 65 years ago in 1944, on April 13, 1944 when both countries jointly struggled within the anti-Hitler coalition during their alliance in the Second World War. The contribution to the common victory by the New Zealand sailors and airmen who participated actively in the operations escorting and protecting allied transport ships that delivered both military and civil cargoes to Russia on the Arctic convoys is still remembered with gratitude in Russia. From 1941 to 1945 seventy-seven convoys, involving more than 800 ships, sailed to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, enduring many hardships, including ice and enemy fire. Tragically many of those ships were lost, and thousands of courageous people sacrificed their lives for victory. On the occasion of the victory anniversary in 2005, Russian special anniversary medals were issued, and 276 New Zealand war veterans who participated in the Arctic convoys were presented with them. On the waterfront in the centre of Wellington a memorial bronze plaque in honour of the Arctic convoys was placed at the initiative of the Russian Embassy, and every year on 9 May a wreath-laying ceremony takes place in front of the plaque. There are about 15 000 Russians in New Zealand, including 680 Russian children adopted by New Zealand families. I hope that Russia-New Zealand relations will be developing in a positive and active way", - Andrey Tatarinov, Russian Ambassador to New Zealand.

“While the main focus of the relationship is economic, Russia’s positions on international security and disarmament issues, including the war against terrorism, environmental issues, and a range of international problems and issues, including Antarctica, are of keen interest to New Zealand.  New Zealand supports Russia’s participation in APEC, and in Asia/Pacific regional processes.  New Zealand is also keenly interested in the involvement of Russia in the major economic processes of globalisation.  In this connection, New Zealand strongly supports the earliest possible entry of Russia into the World Trade Organisation (WTO),”- Stuart Prior, New Zealand Ambassador to Russia, 2003-2006, Prior Group Chairman.

“The amassed potential of diplomatic contacts facilitates reinvigorating the constructive political dialogue at high level, which creates favourable conditions for steady development of bilateral cooperation in many areas. New Zealand became the first country with a developed economy, with which Russia successfully concluded negotiations on accession to the World Trade Organization: the relevant protocols were signed in 2003 and 2004.The recent visit in December 2009 to Moscow by the New Zealand minister Murray McCully was a considerable contribution to the development of Russian-New Zealand cooperation in different spheres,”-  Andrey Nesterenko, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.

“Russia is a major European and Asian power, so the relationship is an important one for New Zealand. Russia is also a market with growing potential for us. The New Zealand government intended to establish closer relations with Russia. It is a global player making an important contribution to solving pressing problems. We welcome Russia’s constructive work in the Asia Pacific region. At the same time, both parties have chances to expand trade and economic cooperation.  In this context, the New Zealand Trade and Conversation Minister, Tim Groser, would visit Russia in the beginning of 2010”, - Murray McCully, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Moscow praises New Zealand’s role in ensuring economic stability in the region. In international affairs we call for complying with the norms of international law and strengthening the U.N. role. We develop close cooperation in the field of disarmament and the WMD non-proliferation. There is a broad area for continuing cooperation. We can see opportunities for growing our trade and economic links. We agreed on mutual interest in increasing two-way investment which at the moment is at a low level”, - Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 

Russia - New Zealand History

Lieut. -Colonel H. C. Barclay, M.D., of Timaru, writing to the Christchurch Sun, says: — Arriving in Petrograd, after a tedious 22 days journey from Japan, I was anxious to waste no time, but to get to the front. At that time no reverses had be fallen the English or French troops, and the idea of my commission leading to an appointment in England among the army that was to be recruited had not occurred to me, and so I promptly offered myself as an army surgeon to the Russians, and was accepted as an operating surgeon, though of the language I knew nothing. Still, if they were game to take me, I was game to go. During the ten days of waiting I had some interesting, if not exciting, personal expediences. I had the honor of being, presented to the Empress - that is, the Dowager Empress, the mother of the present Tsar. It was at one of the summer palaces on the island of the Neva, on the borders of Petrograd. After some formal introduction to a baroness and one of the Princesses, the Empress came in. She was attired in black with a plain white collar and a pearl necklace, her hair dressed in ordinary English fashion. There was no difficulty in seeing at once the likeness to Queen Alexandra, whose sister she is, but she was not as tall, nor as impressive in appearanpe as I understand the late Queen of England to be. She was exceedingly gracious in manner and in speech, and spoke English like an English lady would. Among other things, she expressed her pleasure at seeing an Englishman with her troops, and when she spoke of  the Anglo-Russian alliance, the emotion behind the words was plainly visible to me. A TALISMAN. When I said  that while with her countrymen I hoped to do my duty faithfully and well she slipped a little present into my hand, saying, -"Keep this for my sake, and may it protect you." Then her Majesty looked me very straight in the face and paused - her eyes were moist “Thank God for the English alliance," – she said and raising her hand to my lips I kissed it, bowed, and she passed out. It needed no keen observer to be aware of the feeling at the back of words in themselves so simple. Needless, to say, the little gift was of the nature of an amulet, a religious token to be worn round the neck. Of her interest in my reasons for being in Russia at the time, and of her questions about New Zealand and Australia I need not write. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13570, 23 December 1914, Page 2

Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul for Belarus in New Zealand

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