Abbott announces further sanctions against Russia

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has told Federal Parliament that Australia will increase its sanctions against Russia.

He said the government was deeply concerned by escalating events in Ukraine.

"Russia has been engaged in a campaign to destabilise Ukraine for months," he said.

"As a consequence, 38 people who called Australia home were brutally murdered, along with many others, when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels with a Russian-supplied missile."

Mr Abbott said the situation had recently worsened as Russia steps up its persistent and deliberate violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

"Around 1000 heavily armed Russian troops are now operating openly in eastern Ukraine, in defiance of Ukraine's sovereignty, the international community and international law.

"As Russia refuses to heed the international community's call to de-escalate the crisis and instead is further fuelling it."

Mr Abbott said expanded sanctions would include restrictions on arms exports, restrictions on the access of Russian state-owned banks to Australian capital markets and preventing the export of goods and services for use in Russia's oil exploration or production.

He said other restrictions would also include restrictions on Australian trade and investment in Crimea and targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on an additional 63 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and 21 entities - APN Newsdesk.



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