The government has enforced customized restrictions on Russian oligarch Alexander Abramov, who has connections to New Zealand. He, along with his family, will face a travel restriction, and their planes and ships will not be permitted to enter New Zealand’s airspace and harbors.
In the annexation regions of Ukraine, this most recent set of sanctions affects 51 oligarchs and 24 people in positions of power.
It also prolongs the 35 percent tariff on Russian imports, originally set to end next month, until 2025. Additionally, it enforces restrictions on the trade of high-end items such as New Zealand wine and seafood, Russian vodka, and caviar, as well as products like oil, gas, and equipment used in their production.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta and Minister of Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor stated that the extra sanctions represented a
“tangible way to express Aotearoa New Zealand’s condemnation of Russia’s invasion and its recent attempts to illegally annex regions of Ukraine”.
Mahuta stated that the sanctions imposed on Abramov had been customized. Abramov resides outside of New Zealand and possesses only a limited share of his wealth within the country.
He and his family would face a travel restriction, while his assets would remain unaffected. The steel company he established, Evraz plc, in which he holds the second-largest share, was also subject to sanctions. This company produces over a quarter of all Russian railway wheels and controls nearly the entire Russian rail line network.
Mahuta stated that if comprehensive sanctions were enforced, the impact experienced by the people of New Zealand could potentially surpass the effects felt by Abramov.
“The intention of our sanctions is to exert pressure on Russia, not punish innocent New Zealanders. We hope that the considered actions we are taking will encourage Mr Abramov to voice concerns about Russia’s war on Ukraine,” Mahuta said.
“Although I am advised that his representatives in New Zealand insist he has not played a role in the invasion and has not lived in Russia since 2016, as a leading businessman with links to Russia’s political and economic elites I expect he has the influence to speak up and be heard.”
Mahuta mentioned that she actively sought a wide range of advice and took into consideration Abramov’s ties to the local economy before approving his sanction. With the new additions, the number of individuals and entities that New Zealand has imposed sanctions on exceeds 1,000.
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