Russia has invaded a neighbouring state with no more justification than an vague appeals to the same arguments that underpinned obsolete 19th century gunboat diplomacy. They simply don’t like the economic and political decisions of the government of the invaded country, and want to have a regime change to get one that is more agreeable to themselves. On the way through, they will annex choice bits of land and set up puppet governments.
This should be no more acceptable for any nation than was the ‘coalition of the willing’ invasion of Iraq with its manufactured nominal and false cause about weapons of mass destruction intelligence.
Obviously New Zealand has little capability to provide assistance to the invaded Ukrainians. At a bare minimum we should..
What we can do immediately is to expel the local diplomatic embassy and consular activities of the Russian Federation and its supporting allies like Belarus. It hardly seems worthwhile maintaining a diplomatic channel when it is clear that the Russian government has demonstrated that it simply isn’t listening.
Similarly, when the appropriate multi-lateral economic sanctions go into play – like dropping Russia and its allies from financial systems, then New Zealand should support those fully. Ideally with backing legislation.
As reluctant as I am to support Gerry Brownlee. For a change he may be correct with “National Party pushes for legislation to sanction Russia over Ukraine actions“. Moving forward with something to help impose sanctions that is imperfect now is preferable to waiting to refine later. It can always be revised.
I suspect that the response of Europe and NATO is going to be to beef up its military presence in the Baltic states and Poland. Plus start feeding defensive weapons to Ukraine, attack drones and anti-air, and anti-tank missiles sound like the best. Personally I’d think that if Ukraine asks for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, then this should be an option. The track record of the Russian Federation air force at atrocity targeting civilians in Syria is abysmal.
This has been a really stupid miscalculation on the Putin regime in Russia. It deserves a extremely strong response from all nations who aren’t interested in the fallacies of ‘great power’ stupidities and ‘spheres of influence’ that just amount to blatant economic colonialism.
After all this kind of fabricated takeover by a European power was exactly the same tactic used to justify the invasion of Austria in 1938, the partition of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and the invasion of Poland by Germany and Russia in 1939. It ultimately led to a devastating global war that killed and displacing people by the millions. It has no place in our current world. Better to deal with it now rather than suffer to consequences of appeasement later.