Australia, Japan impose sanctions on Russia
In light of pressure on Russia, both Australia and Japan announce the first round of sanctions on Moscow, following sanctions imposed by the United States.
After the United States announced the first round of sanctions on Russia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia is imposing sanctions on Russia for its recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics (DPR and LPR).
"It is absolutely unacceptable that Russia could invade its neighbor... The Australian government will immediately begin placing sanctions on Russian individuals in response to the aggression by Russia against Ukraine. We will also... extend existing sanctions that apply to Crimea and Sevastopol to the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk," Morrison said as broadcast by ABC News.
"Initially, we will impose travel bans and targeted financial sanctions on eight members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation," he said.
Japan imposes sanctions on Russia
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Wednesday that Japan will impose sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, calling Moscow's actions an intolerable violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and international law.
According to Kishida, Japan's sanctions include blocking the issuing of Russian bonds in Japan, freezing the assets of specific Russian people, and limiting travel to Japan.
"Russia's actions very clearly damage Ukraine's sovereignty and go against international law. We once again criticize these moves and strongly urge Russia to return to diplomatic discussions," he said. "The situation remains quite tense and we will continue to monitor it closely."
He noted that the sanctions' details will be worked out and released in the following days.
EU announces sanctions
Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday that the EU sanctions against Russia will apply to 351 lawmakers of the Parliament’s Lower House, the State Duma, adding that if the conflict escalates, the EU will impose more sanctions.
Following an informal meeting of EU top diplomats, he said, "Today we have agreed that the 351 members of the Russian State Duma who voted for these violations of the international law and territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine will be listed in our sanctions," adding that the sanctions will also target 27 individuals and legal entities.
Russia’s recent decision to recognize DPR and LPR followed a deterioration of the situation on the line of contact between Ukraine and the breakaway republics. Russia has repeatedly denied any intention of invading Ukraine, but nevertheless, the West continued to militarize Ukraine with attempts to add it as a NATO member.