Is New Zealand Going To War With Russia

Is New Zealand Going to War with Russia?

Background Information

It has been a difficult year for relations between New Zealand and Russia. Throughout 2016 and 2017, New Zealand, along with other nations, issued numerous diplomatic protests against Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, Crimea, and elsewhere. As a result of escalating tensions, speculation has been mounting over the possibility of an open war between the two countries.

The concern of a potential battle between Russia and New Zealand has been further fueled by the series of UN Security Council voting which occurred in February 2017. Both countries voted against a resolution proposed by the United States, and this heightened speculation of an impending conflict.

Relevant Data and Perspectives from Experts

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, has firmly denied the possibility of hostilities, saying that a war between the two countries is “highly unlikely”. Dr. Joe Harrop-Griffiths, a leading international relations expert at the University of Auckland, also believes that the chances of war are slim, citing the international laws which Russia has continually violated.

However, the current tensions remain concerning – especially under the current American administration. With US President Donald Trump’s increasing unpredictability, especially in regards to military action, there is a real risk of a third party getting involved in an open conflict.

Analysis and Insights

It seems unlikely that a war is truly on the horizon for New Zealand and Russia. Such an event would be costly in terms of both human and economic resources, and this means it is not something either country would want or be willing to take part in. Both New Zealand and Russia have their own interests which need to be safeguarded, and a full-out war would not do either any good.

What is important is for New Zealand to be constantly vigilant to any possible changes or developments in the diplomatic situation between the two countries. The best way to counter any potential war is to continually oppose Moscow’s and Washington’s aggressive posturing and instead encourage diplomatic dialogue.

Impact on the Pacific

A potential war between New Zealand and Russia would have a devastating impact on the entire Pacific region. With New Zealand’s key role in the wider region’s security and stability, the consequences of war would be felt by all states in the area. In addition to the disruption of trade and the potential for economic fallout, many of the smaller states in the region could also become destabilised, with their domestic politics heavily influenced by a war.

Role of the United Nations

An open war between Russia and New Zealand would also put greater pressure on organisations such the United Nations, and how they approach global issues. Under the current World Order, international issues such as this are handled in a diplomatic manner, and war is seen as an absolute last resort. A war between the two countries would certainly challenge this view, and the United Nations would be required to mediate and potentially intervene.

Oil and the Conflict

Should the conflict escalate to open warfare, a significant element to consider is the availability of oil resources in the region. New Zealand, being a net importer of oil, relies heavily on the region’s supply of the resource and any disturbances or disruptions could have a significant impact on the country. Russia, on the other hand, could potentially cut off this supply and use it as leverage, should the need arise.

Repercussions for Russia

For Russia, engaging in a physical conflict with New Zealand would not be in the country’s best interests. The level of economic and diplomatic losses they might incur would be much greater than their potential gains, and therefore the risk for them of engaging in war is too high.

International Pressure

International pressure undoubtedly plays an important role in preventing the escalation of this conflict. Several countries have already given their support to New Zealand in diplomatic terms, and this has provided the nation with an additional layer of protection. A number of countries, including the United States and Canada, have gone as far as sending additional naval forces to the region, which serves to act as a deterrent to any potential Russian aggression.

Military Presence

New Zealand has also increased its own military presence in the region, with additional air and sea power added in recent months. This serves both to increase the country’s general security as well as to put an additional check on any Russian advances. In addition, the government has held extensive discussions with other countries on the best approach to handling the situation.


Sanctions and other measures have also been employed, with a number of countries actively engaging in this approach. The list of sanctions imposed so far by various countries range from economic to diplomatic, and this has led to further international pressure on Russia.

The Media and Public Reaction

In the past few months, the public discourse on the possibility of a war between New Zealand and Russia has been quite high. This has largely been driven by the media, with numerous reports and stories being circulated about the situation. It is important to note that this is all speculation, and yet it remains a hot topic in the public’s mind.

The reaction from both countries’ citizens has been interesting – while an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders are firmly against the idea of war, most Russians seem to generally accept it as a potential option. This difference in attitude could further fuel international tensions.

Valarie Bristol

Valarie B. Bristol is a passionate writer and researcher from New Zealand. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and love of New Zealand with the world. In her free time, Valarie enjoys exploring the countryside and taking pictures of the beautiful landscapes that make up the country. She also loves spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and reading.

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