Australia imposed sanctions against seven citizens of Russian Federation in connection with Russia’s attack on Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait in November 2018. This was stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Australia.
“Today I announce targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against seven Russian individuals for their role in the interception and seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels that were attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait. Australia is concerned by this escalation of tensions in the Sea of Azov in November 2018,” Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said.
Marise Payne expressed concern over the escalation of tensions in the Sea of Azov.
“Australia condemns the aggression and calls on Russia to release the detained Ukrainian sailors and seized vessels without delay. We also call on Russia to allow free and unencumbered passage of Ukrainian and international ships through the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov,” the message reads.
It was added that Australia did not recognise any actions seeking to legitimise the annexation of Crimea or the secession of parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“I have therefore also imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against three 'leaders' from separatist-controlled parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine following so-called elections in November 2018,” Marise Payne stated.
Australia called on Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including its territorial waters.
As it was reported earlier, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions against six Russian individuals and eight Russian organizations for the attack at the Ukrainian vessels in Kerch Strait.
On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.