Abstract: In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea and conducted insurgency operations in Eastern Ukraine resulting in a stalemate for the next eight years and followed by a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. This has triggered an imbalance in international security worldwide as well as impacted small states such as New Zealand. To remain in the same circle of great powers, New Zealand suspended a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Russia and changed its international policies by introducing a sanctions programme against Russia. New Zealand also provided humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine and offered immigration support. The invasion served as a pivotal point for New Zealand’s diplomacy, security, and economy. The aim of this article is to identify what choices New Zealand needs to make in order to secure its position within the great powers’ domain. By providing a narrative of the possible future scenarios, the study will recommend strategies for New Zealand as a small state to find a right fit within the great powers’ dominion. The article suggests the necessity for New Zealand to follow international law and rules-based order as one of the guarantors of the country’s security and economic stability.
Key words: Ukraine, New Zealand, Russia, post-colonial, small state