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Federal Government Expands Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukraine Violations

The Abbott government has expanded sanctions against Russia over its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

The new sanctions include restrictions on arms exports and goods and services used in oil exploration or production. They include restrictions on the access of Russian state-owned banks to Australian capital markets and on Australian investment in Crimea.

Statement released by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Expanded Sanctions Against Russia

The Government is deeply concerned by escalating events in Ukraine.

Russia has been engaged in a campaign to destabilise Ukraine for months. As a consequence, 38 people who called Australia home were brutally murdered, along with many others, when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels with a Russian-supplied missile.

The situation has recently worsened as Russia steps up its persistent and deliberate violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Around 1000 heavily armed Russian troops are now operating openly in eastern Ukraine, in defiance of Ukraine’s sovereignty, the international community and international law.

As Russia refuses to heed the international community’s call to de-escalate the crisis and instead is further fuelling it, the Government will expand Australia’s autonomous sanctions and travel bans relating to Russia.

This is being done in coordination with our partners in the US, Canada and Europe.

Australia’s expanded sanctions will include:

  • restrictions on arms exports;
  • restrictions on the access of Russian state-owned banks to Australian capital markets;
  • preventing the export of goods and services for use in Russia’s oil exploration or production;
  • restrictions on Australian trade and investment in Crimea; and
  • targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on an additional 63 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and 21 entities (taking the total number of financial sanctions and travel bans to 113 individuals and 32 entities).

These measures build on Australia’s existing financial sanctions and travel bans, announced in March this year.

They reaffirm Australia’s clear and unequivocal support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

Australia stands with countries around the world in urging Russia to de-escalate tensions, pull back its military, and engage in genuine dialogue with Ukraine.

We remain determined to see the perpetrators of the cowardly attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 brought to justice. We owe this to the innocent victims and their families.

The Government does not rule out further sanctions in the future.

Russia must understand that if it does not act to defuse the current situation, the cost to its economy and international standing will grow.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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