Ukrainian ambassador to New Zealand Vasyl Myroshnychenko is urging the government to consider lifting tariffs temporarily and to further support his country, devastated by war.
Myroshnychenko would also like to negotiate a free trade agreement with New Zealand.
Yesterday, during his first day in his role, he attended cross-party meetings with local political leaders including Minister of Defence Peeni Henare, Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta.
At the meetings, Ukraine’s envoy discussed relations with Australia and New Zealand, including military cooperation, trade, investment, culture and education.
Myroshnychenko emerged optimistic about bilateral relations between the countries.
He was very thankful for the support New Zealand had sent to Ukraine but urged for more.
“Of course the war is brutal in Ukraine our losses are huge, many people get killed and wounded on a daily basis – the destruction is enormous.
“We need more support from New Zealand as well as from all other allies and we’d be very thankful if there was more support in military sense or non-legal that could be provided because the scale and magnitude of destruction is huge.”
He wants the government to consider lifting tariffs on Ukrainian goods temporarily, in a similar manner to Australia which removed tarifs on Ukraine for a year.
Ukraine enjoyed and loved wine and other New Zealand products, he said.
“If New Zealand could consider lifting those tariffs temporarily, that would help more businesses from Ukraine to export to New Zealand.
“Actually, as we move forward I would be very keen to engage and start the negotiations on the free trade agreement which we could eventually sign with New Zealand.”