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New Zealand Will Not Send Weapons to Ukraine to Help It Repel a Russian Invasion

New Zealand is sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine rather than weaponry, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, because there is a “gap” in the international response.

New Zealand has joined the rest of the world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it is not backing Ukraine’s military resistance.

Rather of delivering financial aid or lethal or non-lethal weapons to the military, New Zealand is concentrating its efforts elsewhere.

Ms Ardern said in Wellington on Wednesday, “We’ve stepped into the humanitarian space because we see a gap and a need there.”

New Zealand is likewise lagging behind other countries in terms of the sanctions it imposes on Russia, as it is bound by its own legislation, which requires UN Security Council approval.

Because Russia has veto power in the UN, New Zealand has been limited to enforcing travel prohibitions on Russian government officials.

Ms Ardern stated that she was working on a piece of legislation that would allow New Zealand to participate in international sanctions.

“My expectation is we’ll have something ready to go next week. We will also talk to other political parties about support for their package as well,” she said.

“This will very much focus on the gaps that exist through the potential movement of assets and investment out of Russia.”

The removal of the Russian ambassador to Wellington is still “on the table,” according to Ms Ardern.

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