Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the developments in Ukraine are deeply worrying.
Ukraine has put its armed forces on full combat alert and has warned Russia any military intervention in the country will lead to war.
The move followed a decision by the Russian parliament to authorise the deployment of troops in Ukraine if necessary.
Russian forces have solidified their control of the autonomous region of Crimea, securing key installations and buildings. There are reports Russia already has about 6,000 troops on the ground there.
Mr McCully says New Zealand calls on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from any action that could escalate tensions.
He says the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected and maintained.
Mr McCully says the United Nations Security Council met on Sunday to discuss the issue and the Government expects the council to live up to its responsibilities.