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Russia aggression towards Ukraine is a direct assault on New Zealand's non-nuclear security values, Professor Robert Patman says.
New Zealand needed to speak out more directly on the issue, the global affairs specialist told Global Insight.
In 1994, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons. In return, its territorial sovereignty was recognised by the international community, including Russia.
Russian president Vladimir Putin sending troops in to Ukraine this week was "a direct assault on what we stand for", Prof Patman says.
"It is a big challenge to our non-nuclear security policy.
"We can't remain silent.
"We need to speak out more".
This evening, foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta has condemned Russia’s actions.
But Professor Patman says New Zealand needs to act in a coordinated fashion with other like-minded countries to bring pressure to bear on Russia.
Prof Patman also spoke about the likelihood of Russia taking full control of Ukraine and whether this would lead to an all-out war.