Australia, Canada and Japan have said they will impose sanctions over the Ukraine crisis as more US allies join efforts to punish Russia and its President, Vladimir V. Putin. Their actions follow coordinated efforts by the United States, the European Union and Britain to penalize Russia for what President Biden has called the start of an invasion of Ukraine.
Australia will impose travel bans and financial sanctions on eight members of Russia’s National Security Council, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. It will also punish several Russian banks and restrict trade with Donetsk and Luhansk, two breakaway regions of Ukraine that Mr Putin has recognized as independent.
Mr Morrison said the actions would mean Australia was “in tune” with efforts by the US and Britain.
Mr Morrison said Russia was at “maximum readiness” for a “full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that should happen within the next 24 hours”.
“This invasion is unjustified, it is unwarranted, it is unprovoked and it is unacceptable,” he added.
Karen Andrews, Australia’s home affairs minister, warned of possible retaliation, including cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday he would enact bans on dealing in Russian sovereign debt and impose sanctions on two Russian banks.
“Russia’s recent actions are a flagrant attack on Ukrainian sovereignty, as well as a serious threat to the security and stability of the region and the rules-based international order,” Trudeau said.
Canada would also ban its citizens from transacting with Donetsk and Lugansk. Russian lawmakers who voted to recognize the two regions would also be penalized, Trudeau said.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday the country would adopt similar sanctions against Russia, including banning it from issuing new sovereign bonds in Japanese markets. Japan will also ban all trade with breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine that Moscow recognized on Monday, freeze the assets of representatives of those republics and ban them from receiving visas.
Kishida said Japan “strongly condemns” Russia’s actions, which “clearly undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and constitute a violation of international law”. He said Japan would implement its sanctions in coordination with the international community and consider further action if the crisis escalates.