New Zealand has condemned a nerve agent attack in Britain and is urging an international investigation after the United Kingdom pointed the finger at Russia.
British diplomats took the extraordinary step on Tuesday of briefing New Zealand media on the Salisbury spy attack after its prime minister Theresa May issued an ultimatum to Moscow over the poisoning.
The briefing looks to be part of a world wide effort by Britain to stir up condemnation of Moscow over the attack against a back drop of what May labelled a “a well-established pattern of Russian state aggression”.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the New Zealand Government had grave concerns. “How this military grade nerve agent was transported from Russia and released abroad is the key issue here, and warrants urgent international investigation,” Peters said.
Winston has been saying there is no proof of Russian interfere in the US elections, despite a mountain of proof. It is patently obvious that the Russian state must have authorised the nerve agent attack on their former spies. Who else has both capability and motive?
Russian aggression cited by the British government includes the illegal annexation of Crimea, violating European air space and a “sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption” including “meddling in elections and jacking the Danish ministry of defence and the Bundestag,” among others.
Britain’s deputy high commissioner in Wellington, Helen Smith, echoed those comments on Tuesday and said the reason for briefing New Zealand media was because the Salisbury poisoning was “not just a domestic incident”.
“This is part of a pattern of Russian aggression internationally and needs an international response and we’re keen to get our message out and work with partners overseas in terms of understanding potential Russian culpability for this act.”
Yet our foreign minister won’t hear a word of criticism against Russia and is forcing the NZ Government to pursue a free trade deal with them, despite the vehement opposition of almost every other Western country around.
The briefing to New Zealand media comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was forced to defend Peters over his pro-Russia stance in relation to a free trade deal, and his recent statements suggesting there was no evidence the Russian government was involved in either the missile strike on flight MH17, or meddling in the US election.
She may be the PM but she knows the moment she contradicts Winston she is out of a job.