Japan, Australia impose more sanctions on Russia targeting nationals, entities
Following in the steps of the United States and other Western countries, Japan and Australia heighten their sanctions against Russia.
Japan has sanctioned 15 Russian individuals and nine additional businesses in connection with the military action in Ukraine, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry on Friday.
The list of the sanctioned persons includes, among others, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, as well as four deputy defense ministers: Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Aleksey Krivoruchko, Timur Ivanov, and Dmitry Bulgakov.
Japanese sanctions also targeted Russian defense companies such as Rosoboronexport, Russian Helicopters, and United Aircraft Corporation.
Australia imposes sanctions on 11 Russian banks
According to the Foreign Ministry, Australia has placed sanctions on 11 Russian banks and many government institutions, including those in charge of handling Russia's national debt.
"The Australian Government has placed sanctions on 11 additional Russian banks and government entities, with the majority of the country’s banking assets now covered by our sanctions along with all of the entities that handle Russia’s sovereign debt," the Ministry said in a statement.
"Today’s listing includes the Russian National Wealth Fund and the Russian Ministry of Finance. With our recent inclusion of the Central Bank of Russia, Australia has now targeted all Russian Government entities responsible for issuing and managing Russia’s sovereign debt," the statement added.
Both Japan and Australia have jointly sanctioned Russia. 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 Lugansk people's republics (DPR and LPR).
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced 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."
Russia had launched a special military operation for several reasons, such as NATO's eastward expansion, the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass, and the aggression of Ukrainian forces against the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, which has been ongoing since 2014, as well as denazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.