Australia is the latest country to announce sanctions against Russia, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiling new measures Wednesday in response to the "aggression by Russia against Ukraine."
Morrison said at a news conference that Australia will first enact travel bans and targeted financial sanctions on eight members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation — a group of top state officials and defense heads.
Canberra will also impose “strong” economic sanctions against the separatist-held pro-Moscow regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, which Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized as independent on Monday. The sanctions target transport, energy, telecommunications, oil, gas and mineral reserves, Morrison said.
He added that he will extend existing sanctions on Russian-held Crimea and Sevastopol to include Luhansk and Donetsk.
Australia will also move to sanction several Russian banks.
“The invasion of Ukraine has effectively already begun,” Morrison said. “Russia is at peak readiness to now complete a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that is likely to occur within the next 24 hours.”
Morrison added that Australia always stands up to “bullies,” and that he will speak to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Wednesday.