NZ Prime Minister Hipkins reiterates condemnation of Ukraine war in first call with NATO

FILE PHOTO: Chris Hipkins speaks outside New Zealand's parliament in Wellington

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Prime Minister Chris Hipkins reiterated the country's condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in a call with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Secretary Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said late on Tuesday.

The spokesperson said that during the introductory call Hipkins had acknowledged NATO's support for Ukraine's self defence, condemned the war and discussed the ramifications the war was having on energy and food prices.

"The Prime Minister conveyed the strong value New Zealand places on its partnership with NATO and committed to cooperating to address common security challenges," the spokesperson added.

Hipkins became prime minister in January following the surprise resignation of Jacinda Ardern and this was his first call with Stoltenberg.

New Zealand and NATO first signed a formal bilateral partnership arrangement in 2012.

It was also noted work was under way to renew New Zealand and NATO's formal bilateral relationship later this year.

(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Sandra Maler)