Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has strongly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, calling it "illegal and immoral" and urging "a rallying cry from the world" against it, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilisation of 300,000 Russian citizens last night.
"New Zealand has always stood firmly against this illegal invasion but we stand firmly against the escalation of this invasion," Ardern said.
"To claim that they will use and could use any other additional weapons that are available to them flies in the face of the lie they have told that they are there to liberate others, and yet they would use the threat of such weapons against them?
"This for me highlights just the falsehood around this war.
"When you canvas around, you've heard those who have come out strongly opposed and then you've perhaps heard those who haven't expressed as clearly opposition.
"I think what we need here is a rallying cry from the world. What is happening in Ukraine is illegal, it's immoral, it's causing a loss of civilian life and that loss could extend if, as Putin has claimed, he broadens the type of weapons that he uses in this war."
In announcing the mobilisation Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.
Ardern was seated next the to Ukraine's prime minister Denys Shmyhal at a food security event at the United Nations General Assembly, and used the opportunity to discuss the invasion with him.
"That was an opportunity to talk with him about obviously the ongoing escalation that we're seeing in Ukraine, but also to again just reaffirm New Zealand's ongoing support.
"The Prime Minister of Ukraine was very familiar and very grateful for the role that New Zealand is playing."