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Australia and Japan join sanctions against Russia

Australia and Japan join sanctions against Russia

Heads of government from around the world were preparing Wednesday to endorse their strong statements on Russian aggression against Ukraine and announce financial, trade and travel sanctions and other measures intended to pressure Moscow to stop moving toward war. .

However, as they prepared their measures, several countries in Asia and Oceania were bracing for the possibility of economic setbacks in the form of energy cuts or grain supply problems, as well as retaliation in the form of Russian cyber-attacks.

“We cannot have the idea that Russia has a just cause here. They behave like bullies and bullies and should be flagged as bullies and bullies”, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, announcing targeted financial sanctions and travel bans as a first step in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The possibility of an impending war in Ukraine has raised fears not only of high casualties, but of widespread energy shortages and global economic chaos.

The punitive actions in Asia followed sanctions announced by US President Joe Biden and several European leaders against Russian oligarchs and banks in response to the buildup of some 150,000 Russian troops on three sides of Ukraine. Although no large contingent has yet moved, Russian forces have entered rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the regions’ independence.

In Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced sanctions against Russia and the two Ukrainian breakaway regions.

Kishida told reporters that Tokyo would veto any further issuance and distribution of Russian government bonds in Japan for “a series of actions that Russia has undertaken in Ukraine.”

Japan will stop issuing visas to people connected to the two Ukrainian rebel regions and will freeze their assets in Japan. Tokyo will also veto trade with the two zones. If the situation worsens, Kishida noted, Japan could increase its sanctions.

The government was also working on the evacuation of some 120 Japanese citizens in Ukraine.

Authorities in South Korea, which relies on imports for almost all of its fossil fuel needs, held urgent meetings on Wednesday to assess the extent to which events in Ukraine could affect the South Korean economy.

Although South Korea is heavily dependent on wheat and corn imports from Russia and Ukraine, First Vice Finance Minister Lee Eog-weon said the country has enough reserves until June or July.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy also discussed ways to secure alternative energy supplies in case the crisis hits its customary imports.

US officials have said the invasion is almost inevitable. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has canceled plans to meet his Russian counterpart in Geneva on Thursday, saying it would not be productive and that Russia’s actions indicate Moscow is not seriously seeking a peaceful way out of the crisis.

More than two dozen European Union members have agreed to their own initial round of sanctions against Russian officials. Germany also said it would halt the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which if launched would bring gas from Russia. It is a lucrative project promoted for a long time by Moscow, criticized by the United States because it increases Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.

The United States moved to isolate the Russian government from Western finance, sanctioning two banks and vetoing their debt operations in European and US markets.

The Biden government sanctioned civilian leaders of the Russian hierarchy and two banks considered especially close to the Kremlin and the Russian Army, with more than US $ 80,000 million in assets. That includes freezing all of the bank’s assets under US jurisdiction.

The Australian government on Wednesday approved sanctions and travel bans against eight members of the Russian Security Council and agreed to align with the United States and Britain to isolate two Russian banks.

Australia also warned companies to prepare for retaliation in the form of Russian cyberattacks.

There was a dissenting voice in the trend in Asia to support US-style sanctions: Beijing opposes new unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia, said Hua Chunying, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On the Ukraine issue, unlike the United States, which continues to send weapons to Ukraine, creating fear and panic, and even toying with the threat of war, China has been calling on all parties to respect and pay attention to legitimate concerns. security of others, working together to solve problems through negotiations and consultations, and maintaining regional peace and stabilityHua noted at his daily news conference.

Hua made no mention of Russia’s massive military deployment on Ukraine’s border or efforts by the United States, France and others to start a diplomatic negotiation with Russia.

Source: Gestion

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