Russia’s power brokers and elite face fresh sanctions from Australia and the US

By Melissa Coade

March 15, 2022

Marise Payne
Foreign minister Marise Payne. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Australia has moved to place more sanctions against 33 Russian oligarchs, powerful business people and their immediate family members in response to Vladimir Putin’s military invasion into Ukraine.

Russia’s conflict with its smaller, democratic neighbour rages on as Putin promises he will not pull back armed forces until his invasion goals are achieved. The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is being bombarded by heavy Russian artillery and two people have died from a projectile strike on a residential apartment complex on Monday. 

Peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian parties have so far failed to produce a ceasefire.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky will make a virtual address to the US congress this week, where he is expected to make a request for fighter jets to be sent to the besieged capital.

In a statement on Monday, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said Australia would continue to coordinate closely with our partners to impose a high cost on Russia for its actions.

“The Australian government reiterates our strongest support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the people of Ukraine,” Payne said.

“We strongly support recent announcements by Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of further restrictive measures against key Russian individuals.”

Australia’s latest sanctions against Russia’s elite include Roman Abramovich, Chelsea Football Club owner, Alexey Miller the CEO of Gazprom, Dmitri Lebedev Chairman of Rossiya, Sergey Chemezov Chair of Rostec, Nikolay Tokarev CEO of Transneft, Igor Shuvalov Chairman Vnesheconombank (VEB.RF) and Kirill Dmitriev CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Worldwide, 460 sanctions have been placed on individuals and entities from Russia as a response to its attack on Ukraine. Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Central Bank of Russia, the RDIF, the Federation’s armed forces, several oligarchs, and political and military leaders have been subject to the sanctions. 

“The sanctions announced today reinforce Australia’s commitment to sanction those people who have amassed vast personal wealth and are of economic and strategic significance to Russia, including as a result of their connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Payne said on Monday.

This week a Russian national and state television employee burst onto a live broadcast set with a poster that read ‘they’re lying to you here’. 

“Stop the war!” the Channel 1 employee Marina Ovsyannikova yelled in protest.


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