Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Parliament today passed a resolution expressing deep concern at Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Foreign Minister Murray McCully said recalling NZ’s ambassador in Moscow is an option that may be considered but is not yet on the agenda. Mr McCully told parliament Russia’s military intervention in Crimea breached Russia’s own bilateral treaties with Ukraine as well as accepted norms of international conduct. Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer, who was a UN official in the Balkans in the 1990s, said the escalation of tensions in Ukraine threatened the security of Europe in a way not seen since the Balkans conflict. He supported the government’s decision to put a hold on signing a free trade agreement with Russia. Mr McCully, when questioned by journalists about withdrawing NZ’s ambassador or imposing sanctions against Russia, said the government would wait and see how the situation developed over the next few days. Meanwhile PM John Key has said he thinks NZ’s paralympian athletes should still compete at the winter Olympics in Sochi, as NZ generally tried to keep politics and sport separate. He conceded there was “maybe a degree of inconsistency” with NZ’s withdrawal from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because of Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.