Russia bans Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern from entering the country

Russia has issued a “blacklist” of prominent New Zealanders, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other MPs, barring them from entering the country.

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The 130-person blacklist includes all 120 Members of Parliament, Governor General Cindy Kiro, the country’s spy chiefs and some Defense Force figures.

A translated statement on the Russian Foreign Ministry website condemns Wellington for taking a supposedly Russophobic course and obediently following other Western countries.

This is in response to new government sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

New Zealand yesterday imposed a 35% tariff on all Russian imports, in response to what the government called “heinous and reprehensible” atrocities committed against Ukrainian citizens.

These are the first New Zealand tariffs since the establishment of the World Trade Organization, and the government believes that this rate means that it is probably not at all economical to export from Russia to New Zealand. Zeeland.

Al Gillespie, a professor of international law at the University of Waikato, said the blacklist was predictable, could grow over time, and was likely to last at least for the duration of the conflict.

“This is not the end of the list, it is probably the beginning of the list, and as discontent between the two countries grows, the list will be added to … anyone perceived to be powerful in the country, perhaps to be certain people who are also symbolic.”

Similar tariffs could also be expected in response to those of New Zealand, he said, and the biggest thing to watch would be the expulsion of lower-level officials from embassies, as some countries have done. of the EU.

“New Zealand haven’t done it yet, neither have Australia, America or Britain, but I think that will be the next step.”

Withdrawing the ambassador would not be in New Zealand’s best interests, he said, or the line of communication with Moscow would be lost and those in the country put at risk.

“It is very important that the government, when dealing with its Russian considerations here, does not let it turn into some kind of hysteria, because if it did, it would react the same way in Russia against the Kiwis the low.”

He said the nature of the conflict had changed to the point that it might be justified to send arms to Rusisa as well.

“I think it’s completely changed the dynamic of war. It’s not just illegal war anymore, there are also crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“If the war continues eastwards and gets bigger – and projections indicate that it will become more intense than what we have seen so far – the Ukrainians will need more assistance military than they have seen so far.”

Today the United Nations separately suspended Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over reports of ‘gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights’ by invading Russian troops in Ukraine.

Toya J. Bell