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PM Press Conference – China Visit, Ukraine - 3 March 2014

PM Press Conference – China Visit, Ukraine Situation - 3 March 2014

Scoop Audio+Photos

By Jamie Neikrie

In his weekly press conference in Wellington today, Prime Minister John Key discussed his upcoming visits to China and the Netherlands, as well as the escalating situation in Ukraine.

Prime Minister John Key will be visiting China, Hong Kong, and The Netherlands. Mr Key’s travels will center on trade and economic opportunities.

Mr Key will be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, focusing on agriculture, food safety, and building bilateral trade with China.

In Hong Kong, Mr Key will attend the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, aiming to “improve the security of nuclear materials and reduce the global threat from nuclear terrorism”.

Mr Key also spoke about the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Russia and Belarus, among other countries. The New Zealand government has expressed “deep concerns” over the weekend’s events in Ukraine and has called for Russia to de-escalate the situation, which could and will disrupt New Zealand’s willingness to sign and FTA with Russia.

According to the PM, the FTA has been in the works for over 3 years. However, unless Russia can move forward in Ukraine on the basis of “dialogue and diplomacy rather than physical force,” no deal will be reached in the near future.

Other topics of discussion included David Cunliffe’s financial records and buying panda bears for the zoo.

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