Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Groser ordered home from Moscow as Crimean tensions grow

Groser ordered home from Moscow as Crimean tensions grow

March 3 (BusinessDesk) – Prime Minister John Key ordered Trade Minister Tim Groser home from Russia today, ending for now any further discussions on a Russian free trade deal that has been three years in the making as Russia ratchets up pressure on Ukraine on the Crimean Peninsula.

Groser had been in Moscow for trade talks ahead of a possible visit to the Russian capital by Key in a fortnight as part of a global swing through China and Europe that will take in meetings with senior Chinese leadership and an international Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands.

Key said he was only missing Moscow on the forthcoming trip because suggested dates had not worked for the Russian president Vladimir Putin, although continuing to discuss an FTA with Russia in the present circumstances was not appropriate.

“I don’t think we could seriously, even if Mr Groser could tie up a deal this afternoon, (sign a free trade agreement) at the same time as we are expressing our deep concern about the threat to sovereignty in Ukraine,” said Key.

He declined to speculate on what response would give if the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the defence alliance between western European nations and the United States, were to ask for New Zealand’s assistance if conflict broke out over Russia’s incursion into the Crimean Peninsula.

“That’s a hypothetical question,” he said. If it arose, New Zealand would assess such a request “on its merits.”

He accepted it could offend Russia to have called off the current talks, but New Zealand’s position was consistent with many other countries.

“It’s a very serious situation,” he said, hoping that a diplomatic solution would emerge.

“The FTA has been under negotiation for three years. It has been and is very close to being concluded. Good progress is being made. But I don’t think this would be the right time to signing an FTA if there was potentially one on the table today.”

Key’s Beijing sojourn will be his first since the August infant milk formula contamination false alarm that saw Fonterra product implicated in a global product recall that particularly hit the Chinese market.

“I will be able to report to China’s political leadership, and assure Chinese consumers, that the (government-backed inquiry into the incident) delivered a strong endorsement of the New Zealand food safety system,” Key said.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Pre-Budget: Computer Emergency Response Team, Assemble!

John Key told the country's first ever Cyber Security Summit in Auckland that the government had earmarked funding set up a national Computer Emergency Response Team to help prevent and act on cyber incidents in partnership with the private sector and other organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Job Cutter Goes: Mark Weldon To Step Down As MediaWorks CEO

“When I joined MediaWorks in August 2014, I had a mandate to lead a significant change programme to bring the business back from receivership into a position where it could once again be a strong competitor in the market, with a sound and sustainable future. It was a big brief, laden with inherent challenges, but I took it in good faith and have dedicated myself fully to the goal since." More>>

ALSO:

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news