Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Senator Marise Payne announced Friday that Australia imposed financial and travel bans on two Russian billionaires and more sanctions against 11 Russian banks and government entities.
Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Ministry has amended the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations to include an addendum called the Designated Persons and Entities and Declared Persons for Russia and Ukraine. The country added two billionaires, Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, to its list of 41 oligarchs and family members hit with Australian sanctions. Oleg Deripaska has investments in an alumina refinery in Queensland, and Viktor Vekselberg has conducted business with Origin Energy Limited for a gas project in the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern territory. The companies involved, Rio Tinto Group and Origin Energy Limited, are seeking clarification from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to define further implications that might arise from the sanctions.
Deripaska and Vekselberg were sanctioned by the United States Government earlier in 2018 for their involvement in the 2014 Russian Crimean invasion.
In its announcement, the Australian government also applauded domestic companies for standing with Ukraine: “We welcome the principled stand taken by Australian companies in announcing moves to cut ties with Russia in protest of Moscow’s illegal, indefensible war against Ukraine.”