Conflicts & War

Australia extends sanctions to 11 Russian banks, 2 oligarchs

Sydney, Australia, Mar 18 (EFE).- The Australian government announced Friday a new raft of sanctions against 11 Russian banks and government entities, and two oligarchs.

With these measures, which include sanctions against the Russian National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance, the government assured that the “majority of [Russia’s] banking assets (are) now covered by our sanctions along with all of the entities that handle Russia’s sovereign debt.”

“The additional banks together account for approximately 80 percent of all banking assets in Russia,” said a statement issued by Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

To the list of sanctioned Russian oligarchs, which already includes 41 people including Roman Abramovic, Canberra added two billionaires with links to business interests in Australia – Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg.

“The Australian Government is deeply committed to imposing high costs on Russia. This includes by listing individuals of economic and strategic significance to Russia who have supported, and benefited from, the (President Vladimir) Putin regime,” Payne said.

Deripaska is president of the Russian aluminum company Rusal, which has a 20 percent stake in the Queensland Alumina Limited refinery in Gladstone, eastern Australia, reported national broadcaster ABC.

Vekselberg has interests in a company that works with Origin Energy, one of Australia’s most important electricity companies, to frack the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory, ABC added.

Australia, which has sent lethal and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, has already imposed sanctions against dozens of financial entities and has banned some 450 people from traveling, including Putin and other high-ranking Russian officials and oligarchs, as well as members of the Belarusian government and military. EFE


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