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Our relationship with Russia
New Zealand's relationship with Russia dates back to the 1800's. Today there is a sizeable Russian community of around 15,000 people living in New Zealand.
The first encounter between Russia and New Zealand occurred in the early 19th century with the imperial Russian expedition to Antarctica led by von Bellingshausen. Bellingshausen’s two ships, the Vostok and the Mirny, anchored in Ship’s Cove, New Zealand on their way from Russia. The expedition’s artist, Pavel Mikhaylov, recorded the first encounter between Russians and New Zealanders. His sketches, which including some depictions of the Maōri people living in Queen Charlotte Sound, are today housed in the Russian Museum in St Petersburg.
The relationship developed during World War II. From 1941 to 1945, a large number of New Zealand sailors served in the Arctic Convoys which delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union.
We established formal diplomatic relations in 1944 but it was not until 1973 that the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow was established.
In addition to formal bilateral contact involving Ministers and senior government officials, New Zealand and Russia engage in a number of regional, multilateral and international organisations, including the United Nations (UN) where Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council, and New Zealand is a non-permanent member, for 2015-16. Other areas of engagement include the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). New Zealand and Russia have also concluded an agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation.
Total trade in goods
Exports to Russia
Top exports: butter and dairy spreads, mutton and lamb, malt extract
Imports from Russia
|Top imports: crude petroleum oils, potassium fertilisers, copper|
|GDP per capita||US $12,926||(NZ GDP per capita is US$43,837)|
Free trade negotiations with Russia
On 9 November 2010, New Zealand, Russia and the then Customs Union partners of Belarus and Kazakhstan agreed to start negotiations on a comprehensive and modern free trade agreement (FTA). Significant progress had been made, however the negotiations were suspended in 2014 following events in the Ukraine.
- New Zealand is represented in Russia by the New Zealand Embassy, Moscow
- There is also a New Zealand Honorary Consulate-General, Vladivostok
- Russia is represented in New Zealand by the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Wellington
New Zealand to Russia
- February 2014: Trade Minister Tim Groser visited for trade and economic consultations
- November 2013: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and held bilateral consultations
- July 2013: Trade Minister Tim Groser for trade and economic consultations
Russia to New Zealand
- February 2014: Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov visited for Foreign Ministry Consultations
- March 2012: Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov visited for Foreign Ministry Consultations
- January 2012: Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov visited for bilateral consultations.
News & Events
The General Election will be held on 23 September 2017. Voters who are overseas can vote from 6 September to 23 September.
All foreigners entering Russia with a Russian visa must register the visa on arrival.
Open letter on occasion of 2017 Warsaw Equality Parade.