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Constructive and friendly bilateral political discussions in Wellington at Senior Official level in late 2002 reinforced the existence of areas of common interest and concern that form part of an on-going dialogue, both bilaterally and in the margins of international meetings, including those of the United Nations.  As countries with significant polar interests, New Zealand and Russia cooperate in the Antarctic Treaty and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

On the economic side two developments in 2003 are particularly noteworthy:  the coming into force of a Double Tax Agreement and the bilateral Agreement on Goods signed by New Zealand and Russia in November 2003 in the context of Russia’s request to accede to the WTO.  Both Agreements will strengthen the foundation for the development of the bilateral economic relationship. The New Zealand Minister for Trade Negotiations, Mr Jim Sutton, commented in Moscow after he had signed the Goods Agreement with I. S. Materov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, that he hoped that the Agreement, the first such WTO agreement signed by Russia with a Western partner (and agricultural exporting nation), would encourage closer commercial and technical links in the agricultural field in particular.  Mr Sutton also hoped that the deal would enable New Zealand to play a part in the growth of the Russian economy in future years.

This brief history reminds how much has changed in the world in the past sixty years, as well as how much has changed in Russia and in New Zealand in this period.  Today both countries can look forward with confidence to the future and to the continuing expansion of their bilateral relationship.  The New Zealand Embassy in Moscow, based in the wonderful Mindovksy Mansion, will continue to play its full part in representing New Zealand in the new Russia.  

written on 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF NEW ZEALAND/RUSSIA DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS, 2004



 

Russia - New Zealand History

We are having long lambskin coats made with outer surface of Gabardine. A good warm cloth overcoat is also recommended by Australian Legation which advises in addition, furlined coat. We have not examined cost of latter but have been informed by a local resident previously living in Russia that they are “de rigueur” for official classes, sheepskin coats being associated with peasantry…Fur caps and furlined gloves are recommended. Top hats are not being taken.
What a country in which the occurrence of queues outside shops is a sign of improving conditions.
It is the most wonderful springtime, the tenderest green on the trees. As always in Moscow, the spring is so fresh, it seems to be happening for the first time.
The Russian language is like a sack pulled over the head of the wretched foreigner. Those like Ruth Macky and me, who have cut an eyehole or two in the sack, have to lead by the hand those who are still living in the darkness. Curious, but the one who shows most promise of all the beginners is Mrs Boswell. For myself I reckon I’ll know Russian well in ten years’ time. It really is a monster of a tongue. Paddy Costello, New Zealand diplomat and linguist, Moscow, 1944

Stuart Prior, Honorary Consul for Belarus in New Zealand

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