Australia sanctions Russian journalists and Belarusian president — RT World News

Australia has imposed new sanctions on 22 Russian nationals it accuses of being “disinformation agents” as well as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family for their support in Moscow.

The Foreign Office announced the sanctions on Friday, saying those who tried to “to legitimize” Russia’s attack on Ukraine must be done to “pay a high price”.

“The Australian government has… imposed new sanctions on 22 other Russian propagandists and disinformation providers,” the Foreign Office said in a statement, adding that they understand “editors” to RT, the Strategic Culture Foundation, InfoRos and Crimean-based news outlet Newsfront.

While officials did not name any of the targeted publishers or give any examples of supposed disinformation,” he noted that the government has now imposed sanctions on “a total of 32 pro-Kremlin propagandists”, highlighting the “the strategic importance of disinformation.”

Apart from media personalities, the Foreign Ministry also declared new sanctions against the leader of Belarus for the “support for Russia and its military forces”. The son of President Viktor Lukashenko – who “previously held leadership positions in national security” – as well as First Lady Galina Lukashenko, were also targeted.

“The Belarusian government allowed Russian military forces to train in their country for weeks before the invasion,” the ministry said, adding that it had since “allowed Russia to fire ballistic missiles from Belarus into Ukraine, allowed the transport of Russian military personnel, heavy weapons and tanks to Ukraine”, and provided weapons storage, among other things.

The latest sanctions against Minsk follow another round of sanctions against 13 Belarusian citizens, including Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin, who also allegedly backed Moscow’s ongoing military operation.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, after a seven-year standoff over kyiv’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Luhansk. The Minsk Protocol, negotiated by Germany and France, was designed to regularize the status of regions within the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kyiv, however, insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.


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