Ardern calls on NATO to prevent Ukraine war from triggering arms race

Madrid, Jun 30 (EFE).- The prime minister of New Zealand has called on NATO members to prevent the war in Ukraine “from becoming an arms race” or causing the world to be “even more polarized and dangerous,” her office said Thursday.

“We stand alongside those who share our same values. And here I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by NATO,” Jacinda Ardern said, according to the transcript published Thursday of the speech given the previous day.

“But I also come with a request: that we do not allow the legacy of the war in Ukraine to become an arms race, or an even more polarised and dangerous world.”

She added that solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums and disarmament.

“New Zealand is not here to expand our military alliances. We are here to contribute to a world that lessens the need for anyone to call on them,” Ardern said.

New Zealand, which is participating in the NATO summit in Madrid as a guest country, has committed military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in late February, as well as imposing a series of sanctions against Russian individuals and companies, among other measures.

In her speech, Ardern said that Russia is “morally bankrupt” for using its position in the United Nations Security Council to “block” discussions on the invasion of Ukraine.

She also criticized Moscow for its “attempts to disrupt and destabilize” her country through disinformation and misinformation.

Her administration announced Thursday it will join Ukraine’s case against Russia at the International Court of Justice.

“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and disingenuous attempt to justify it under the Genocide Convention is a significant threat to basic principles of international law, the United Nations Charter and the rules-based international system on which New Zealand strongly relies,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a statement.

Ardern also took advantage of the meeting in Madrid to also focus on the tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, where “China has in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms.”

New Zealand, like Australia and other powers such as the United States, are concerned about the military expansion and the growing influence of Beijing in the region, especially after the security agreement signed in April between China and the Solomon Islands.

After sealing this pact, which was negotiated in an opaque manner and opens the door for China to send in its security forces if the Solomons request it, Beijing has tried to sign a regional cooperation and security agreement with a dozen Pacific nations. EFE


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