Conflicts & War

Australia, Japan announce additional sanctions on Russia, Belarus

Sydney, Australia, Mar 8 (EFE).- Australia on Tuesday announced sanctions against six senior Russian military commanders and ten people for promoting pro-Russia propaganda of its invasion of Ukraine in line with measures adopted by its allies, including the United States and the countries of the European Union.

“This new round of sanctions will impose targeted financial sanctions on the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against an additional six senior Russian military commanders responsible for implementing naval, ground and air attacks on Ukraine,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

Payne stressed that Russia’s “unprovoked, unjustified invasion” of Ukraine has been accompanied by a “widespread disinformation campaign, both within Russia and internationally.”

“President (Vladimir) Putin has shut down independent voices and locked everyday Russians into a world characterized by lies and disinformation,” she added.

For this reason, Australia “is sanctioning 10 people of strategic interest to Russia for their role in encouraging hostility towards Ukraine and promoting pro-Kremlin propaganda to legitimize Russia’s invasion,” the minister said.

The Australian government is also working with Facebook, Twitter and Google “to suspend the dissemination of content generated by Russian state media within Australia,” she added.

“SBS and Foxtel have already announced the suspension of Russia Today and NTV broadcasting.”

Australia, which has provided lethal military assistance and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, has already imposed sanctions against 21 financial institutions, including 11 Russian banks.

It has also imposed a travel ban on nearly 400 people, including President Putin and other Russian senior officials and oligarchs, as well as members of the government and the armed forces of Belarus.

Meanwhile, Japan also announced additional sanctions on Russia and Belarus, including freezing the assets of 30 senior government officials and business magnates, as well as a ban on the export of oil refining machinery.

The new sanctions come as Russia is escalating its attack on Ukraine with Belarus “clearly involved” in the invasion, top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The new sanctions include 20 senior Russian officials and oligarchs, as well as another 12 Belarusians.

Japan has already imposed sanctions on other individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

Japan has also decided to ban exports to Belarus of semiconductors and other goods that could be used in the military equipment industry.

“Our nation will continue to collaborate with the Group of Seven (nations) and the international community toward an improvement in the situation,” Matsuno said, according to local news agency Kyodo.

The spokesperson also said it was “unfortunate” that Japan has been included in the list of “hostile” nations drawn up by the Russian government and released by state-owned agency Interfax on Monday and added that Tokyo has sent a diplomatic protest to Russia over the move.

Japan, like other G7 countries and the EU, has applied successive rounds of sanctions against Russia since its attack on Ukraine.

These include the freezing of assets of Russian companies and banks, the exclusion of the latter from the Swift payment system and a ban on the export of semiconductors. EFE


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