'This is Only the Start': Australia Files Sanctions Against Russia Over Recognition of LPR, DPR

© REUTERS / POOLAustralia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison gestures as he makes a statement at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison gestures as he makes a statement at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.02.2022
Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday that he would file the nation's own set of sanctions against Russia following Moscow's recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic's (DPR, LPR).
The prime minister detailed during his Wednesday announcement that sanctions would be imposed immediately, underscoring that the initiative would include travel bans and strikes against eight members of Russia's security council.
Additionally, there would be penalties against entities tied to Moscow, as well as against Russian banks, transport, energy, telecommunications, oil, gas and minerals.
Morrison did not name the sanctioned individuals, opting to state that they were the same individuals that had been blacklisted by the UK and US.

"Australians always stand up to bullies and we will be standing up to Russia, along with all of our partners," Morrison remarked. "I expect subsequent tranches of sanctions, this is only the start of this process."

The move comes hours after US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced sanctions against Russia over the Kremlin's Monday decision to recognize the LPR and DPR's independence from Ukraine.
Sanctions that have already been imposed against Crimea, which voted to join the Russian Federation in a 2014 referendum, are also set to be extended. Morrison has stressed that the declaration would "ensure there are severe costs" to what he sees as "Russian aggression."
The sanctions, the prime minister noted, will target "the perpetrators and beneficiaries of this violence [in the Donbass regions.]"
"We will be adding names to the list," he continued. "And we'll be ratcheting it up further to potentially other areas of economic activity."
The prime minister went on to state that some 1,400 Australians are presently in Ukraine, and that he hoped China would join Australia and company in filing sanctions against Russia.
Shortly after Russia's Monday announcement to recognize the independence of the LPR and DPR, Washington quickly changed the narrative by asserting that Russian President Vladimir Putin's acknowledgement and subsequent peacekeeping mission in the Donbass regions proved the allegations of a looming invasion.
Vladimir Putin meets with Russian Security Council, 18 February 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.02.2022
Putin: Russia Has Done Everything to Peacefully Resolve Tensions in Donbass
Peacekeeping operations in the breakaway regions were launched in the wake of dramatically escalated attacks by Kiev forces that ultimately prompted the evacuations of tens of thousands of civilians.
The US and it allies have claimed as far as November 2021 that an invasion against Ukraine by Russian forces was "imminent" without providing evidence. US and NATO officials solely used ongoing Russian military drills in the region to explain what they characterized as a "troop build-up."
Russia has repeatedly rejected claims that it intends to carry out an invasion, and stated that tensions would not currently be so high if NATO acknowledged Russia's own security concerns about the continued eastward expansion of the western military bloc.
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