Australia, Japan announce further Russia sanctions
(Update 1: Adds Japan details, changes headline/lede, minor edits)
Sydney/Tokyo, Mar 18 (EFE).- Australian and Japan on Friday announced new rafts of sanctions against Russian banks, government entities and individuals.
Australia’s measures included sanctions on 11 Russian banks and government entities, including the Russian National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance, with the government assuring 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.
In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced new Japanese sanctions in line with other Group of Seven members at a press conference Friday.
Among the 15 Russian citizens sanctioned were senior officials from the Russian defense ministry, as well as the director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova; director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugaev; Rosoboronexport director general Alexander Mikheev, and Andre Skoch, a member of the State Duma (lower house).
In addition, sanctions were approved on nine Russian organizations and corporations linked to the military, aerospace or naval industries, including JSC Russian Helicopters, PJSC United Aircraft Corporation, SC United Shipbuilding Corporation and Rosoboronexport.
To date, Japan has sanctioned 76 Russian citizens and 12 Russian organizations and corporations, as well as a dozen Belarusians. EFE