Sydney – AFP
Australia announced on Wednesday that it had imposed sanctions on eight security advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin following Russia’s “unjust and unacceptable” invasion of Ukraine.
The move comes in the wake of Putin’s decision to send troops to eastern Ukraine, following decisions by the United States, Britain and the European Union to punish Russian companies.
Members of Russia’s National Security Council will face a number of sanctions, including travel bans, and Australia will take action against Russian banks linked to the military.
“They are behaving like thugs and bullies,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who predicted a large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in the next 24 hours.
Australia is a member of the Five Eyes Alliance for Intelligence Exchange, which includes the United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.
“Australians will always stand up for the oppressors, and we will stand up for Russia,” Morrison added.
Morrison also announced the expeditious processing of 430 visa applications for Australia by Ukrainians.
In the same vein, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also announced that he would like to impose sanctions on individuals associated with his country’s pro-Russian and pro-Moscow regions in eastern Ukraine.
Tokyo’s sanctions include a ban on issuing visas to so-called “republics” and the freezing of their assets and barring trade with both regions.
Kishida told reporters, “We are constantly monitoring the situation.
He added that Japan “strongly condemns” Russia’s actions that violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and violate international law, and may impose further sanctions “if the situation worsens.”
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