Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully this afternoon said the Russian Ambassador was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade this afternoon over the escalation of tensions in Ukraine.
"On my instructions the Russian Ambassador has been called in to the Ministry to hear directly New Zealand's views on the situation," he said.
"New Zealand is deeply alarmed at the escalation of tensions in Ukraine over recent days and we condemn the breach of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"We understand Russia has significant interests especially in the Crimean Peninsula, however they need to pursue these interests in a manner that is consistent with Russia's treaty obligations, international law and accepted international norms.
"New Zealand calls on the Russian Government to take steps to reduce tensions and to engage in consultations with other affected parties to achieve this objective."