Dairy farmers should be allowed to sell milk to Russia rather than go bust, Winston Peters says.
The NZ First leader has criticised Prime Minister John Key in Parliament for the Government's support for sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict.
"Why has he denied farmers a chance to trade with the world's second biggest dairy importer, Russia, considering there has been another drop in Fonterra's milk price, disastrously, from $4.15 to $3.90?" he said.
"Why is he willing to allow more dairy farmers to go bust while he remains tied down by an informal, off-the-cuff, golf-course agreement with [US] President Obama?"
Mr Key said Mr Peters' description of the agreement was "quite wrong" and went on to urge him to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
"The single biggest gainers out of the TPP are dairy farmers," he said.
"Rather than some mythical Russian who might want to buy something, I can show him 800 million consumers who definitely want to buy something."
Mr Key suggested Mr Peters study economics "and work out that they have got no money to buy anything through the front door or the back door - that is the reason prices are going down, Russia is in serious financial difficulty because of oil prices."