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Australia joins allies, sanctions 33 Russian oligarchs

·2-min read


Australia on Monday announced that it is sanctioning 33 Russian oligarchs in response to Moscow's continued invasion of Ukraine, joining allies in placing penalties on prominent Russian individuals.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said Australia will impose penalties on prominent Russian businesspeople and their immediate family members, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich and Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.

"The sanctions announced today reinforce Australia's commitment to sanction those people who have amassed vast personal wealth and are of economic and strategic significance to Russia, including as a result of their connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin," Payne said in a statement.

Australia had already sanctioned Russia for recognizing two Ukrainian regions as independent and for launching a military operation in Ukraine. It also imposed more penalties last week.

In total, Australia said it has levied more than 460 sanctions on individuals and entities in past weeks, including President Vladimir Putin and his Security Council, the Central Bank of Russia, the country's national sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Russia's armed forces.

Monday's announcement of more penalties comes after the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, European Union and New Zealand imposed sanctions against key Russian individuals. Payne said she supported the announcements by those countries.

"We strongly support recent announcements by Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of further restrictive measures against key Russian individuals," Payne said in a statement.

The foreign minister said Australia will "continue to coordinate closely with our partners to impose a high cost on Russia for its actions."

"The Australian Government reiterates our strongest support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the people of Ukraine," she added.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its 19th day on Monday. At least 35 people were killed in Ukraine on Sunday when a Russian missile strike hit a base less than 15 miles from the Polish border, and a second Ukrainian mayor has been reported abducted by Russian forces.