Greenpeace Aotearoa is welcoming the Government’s decision to sanction influential Russian oligarch Alexander Abramov but is also calling for the sanctions to go further.

Greenpeace has called for the Government to freeze the New Zealand-based assets of Alexander Abramov as the wealthiest oligarch with financial interests in New Zealand since shortly after Russia launched its military invasion of Ukraine.

“People are dying every day, and Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine is escalating. Every government must do its utmost to exert influence on Putin’s inner circle to help end the war and push for peace,” says Greenpeace Aotearoa spokesperson Amanda Larsson.

The Government has said that sanctions against Abramov will be limited to travel bans and preventing Abramov’s vessels and aircraft from entering New Zealand ports and airspace. The Minister has stopped short of freezing Abramov’s assets.

“It’s disappointing to see Minister Mahuta stop short of taking the strongest measures possible by freezing Abramov’s assets in Aotearoa. It’s clearly a very challenging decision.

“The tension for the Minister is that you have a powerful individual who, on the one hand, is supporting livelihoods in Aotearoa while on the other hand, has influence over a regime that is taking life daily and threatening the lives of everyone on the planet with nuclear war.

“We urge the Minister to consider options that would allow for the strongest sanctions to be imposed without allowing that to negatively impact the local community. That is within the Government’s power to do.

“Everyone deserves to live in peace without having to face the horrors of war. New Zealand once inspired the world with its nuclear-free status, and now is the time to make a stand again.”

Shortly after the Russia Sanctions Act was passed, Greenpeace called for sanctions on Abramov, launched a petition and joined the Aotearoa Peace Flotilla to sail north to Helena Bay, where the Russian billionaire oligarch has a 50 million dollar retreat, saying at the time that “for the Government’s sanctions to mean anything, they have to be targeting Abramov as New Zealand’s wealthiest Russian investor.”

Over twenty thousand people have now signed the petition, and along with presenting the petition to the government, Greenpeace made a submission outlining what it says is a strong case for freezing Abramov’s Assets, including noting that Abramov’s assets were recently sanctioned by the Australian Government.

PETITION: Freeze russian oligarch assets in Aotearoa

In the name of peace, call on the New Zealand Government to freeze the assets of Russian billionaire oligarchs to pressure Vladimir Putin to call off the Russian Military invasion of Ukraine.

Take Action