The two nations had already imposed sanctions on Russia for its recognition of the Donbas republics
Australia and Japan have moved to impose additional sanctions on Russia, each introducing a new set of measures along with a number of Western allies – all condemning Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared new sanctions at a press conference in Sydney on Thursday, insisting “there must be a cost” for Russia “violent and unacceptable” after his forces moved into the Donbass region to support two breakaway republics there, later launching strikes on sites across Ukraine.
“Today, we continue to go further, acting with our close partners, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, those in Europe and NATO, to condemn the actions of the Russia,” he added. Morrison said when announcing a “second phase” of penalties.
While Canberra had already targeted a number of Russian businesses and citizens with sanctions earlier this week for allegedly “undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, the new sanctions will apply to another 25 people – including military commanders and defense officials – as well as “four entities involved in the development and sale of military technologies and weapons”.
Australians will also be banned from investing in four other Russian financial institutions, the Prime Minister continued, also threatening “new waves of sanctions”, including against more than 300 Russian lawmakers. The European Union has already decided to sanction hundreds of Russian Duma deputies for voting in favor of recognizing the beleaguered Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass, which have been in a military conflict with the Kyiv government on and off since 2014.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also announced new sanctions against Moscow. Like Australia, Tokyo had previously imposed sanctions for Russia’s recognition of Donbass, but the prime minister said his government would “intensify” measures after the deployment of Russian troops in the region. Tougher sanctions include freezing Russian assets abroad, banning visas, as well as banning imports of Russian goods that “may be used for military purposes.”
Tokyo and Moscow have long sought to resolve a border dispute over what Japan calls its “Northern Territories” – known in Russia as the Kuril Islands – a chain of islands claimed by both nations. Prime Minister Kishida said his country’s position remained unchanged on the issue and suggested the Ukraine crisis could have an effect on the negotiations, although he said he would. “refrain from making predictions at this time.”
The new sanctions follow similar reprisals by a long list of Western and European nations, each of which condemned Moscow for threatening Ukraine. “territorial integrity” with its military operation launched early Thursday morning.
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