Australia targets 33 Russian businessmen, including Abramovich with sanctions

Australia is introducing more sanctions targeting Russian businessmen and other prominent figures, as well as their family members, over the situation in Ukraine, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Monday.

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"The Australian Government today announces fresh sanctions on 33 Russian oligarchs, prominent businesspeople and their immediate family members," Payne said in a statement, adding that the sanctions 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."

The sanctioned individuals include Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich; CEO of Russia's Gazprom, Alexey Miller; CEO of Russia's high-tech state corporation Rostec, Sergey Chemezov; President of Transneft Nikolay Tokarev; and CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev, among others.

"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," Payne said, adding that Australia "will continue to coordinate closely with our partners to impose a high cost on Russia for its actions."

Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow in response to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. The sanctions include airspace closures and restrictive measures targeting numerous Russian officials and entities, media, and financial institutions. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to occupy Ukraine and that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine, targeting only military infrastructure.

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