By RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) head warns the Ukraine crisis is one of the most significant risks to international peace and security since the end of the Cold War.
MFAT chief executive Chris Seed made the comments to the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee today.
“We’ve got no doubt that war in Europe of any sort is of no benefit to New Zealand,” he said.
When asked what would happen if sanctions were imposed and Russia retaliated by restricting energy supply, Seed said it would certainly cause disruption, increase oil prices, and affect sharemarkets – all of which would affect New Zealand.
“They’ll wash throughout supply chains, they’ll impact on our ability to trade, we will be in the same boat as any other countries in the world,” he said.
The prime minister has spoken to the president of the European Commission, and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met with her counterparts in the United Kingom, Australia, Canada, Japan and Ukraine.
Seed said efforts had been made to make a request to speak to the Russian foreign minister.
“We [MFAT] have spoken to the Russian ambassador here, we have sent our colleague ambassador in Moscow, we’ve sent our ambassador from Warsaw to Ukraine,” he said.
“I think there is a clear sense that the situation is of great concern.”