Australia targets luxury goods in Russian sanctions expansion

The further sanctions come a day after Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia called for a moratorium on all Russian goods entering the country as the Kremlin .

The new sanctions include everything from tobacco to leather and furs to musical instruments on top of an already announced export ban on aluminum ores.

The sanctions are in line with measures announced by the European Union and UK last month, with the ban on luxury good imports aimed at depriving Russian elites.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne will travel to Brussels on Tuesday for a

foreign ministers meeting, as new action is considered against Russia over its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Senator Payne said the deliberate shelling of civilians, rape as a weapon of war and alleged mass murder by Russian soldiers are “horrific beyond description”.

“What is important is that the international community does everything it can hold Russia to account for their actions,” she told the Nine network.

“The strongest possible focus on ensuring that Russia pays a cost for these actions.”

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Australia has sent two professionals to the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

The foreign minister says her conversations in Brussels will be about ensuring Australia is a part of coordinated actions against Russia.

“It’s an opportunity to continue and to strengthen that international coordination which has been working very strongly in the past month in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” she said.

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Senator Payne also confirmed the Russian ambassador to Australia, Dr Alexey Pavlovsky, was called into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade again last week, saying “we will continue to review (expelling diplomats) at the highest levels of government”.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko has called for a further tranche of sanctions in addition to lethal aid and military assistance.

“The next step will be further sanctions on UN embargoes, on the import of any fossil fuels or agricultural products coming from Russia, divesting from Russian assets and putting a ban on the export of products to Russia,” he told SBS News.

“Ukraine is one of the largest food exporters in the world and many countries in the Middle East and Africa depend on this. We have had a disrupted cultivation and harvesting season which is going to bring to some very negative implications on the food market and food security global.”

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Mr Myroshnychenko said Ukraine’s rebuild is extremely important and Australia will have a large role to play.

“There was a special request from President Zelenskyy for Australia to look at our Black and Azov ports. This is where you have very developed maritime infrastructure and is what will need to be rebuilt,” he said.

“Apart from that, I see many opportunities on the trade and investment side with Australia’s experience in the mining industry coming to Ukraine to help us extract some of the rare earth metals we have as well as processes them in Ukraine. That would be a great boost for our economy.”

To date, Australia has imposed sanctions on

and .

In addition, $65 million in humanitarian funding is being provided to help the most urgent needs of the Ukrainian people, along with $116 million of defensive military assistance.

A number of world leaders are pressing for tougher sanctions on Russia in the wake of indications the country’s forces were behind the death of hundreds of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

Russia denied the reports, saying Ukraine had staged an event for Western media.

Mr Myroshnychenko told SBS News the brutal attack from Russia has displaced millions of Ukrainians.

“Over four million Ukrainians have now left the country. Many of them have had their houses destroyed, they don’t have anywhere to return.”

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