Australia imposes sanctions against Russia, warns a “full-scale invasion” could happen within 24 hours

Australia is the latest country to announce sanctions against Russia, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiling new measures Wednesday in response to the “aggression by Russia against Ukraine.”

Morrison said at a news conference that Australia will first enact travel bans and targeted financial sanctions on eight members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation — a group of top state officials and defense heads.

Canberra will also impose “strong” economic sanctions against the separatist-held pro-Moscow regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, which Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized as independent on Monday. The sanctions target transport, energy, telecommunications, oil, gas and mineral reserves, Morrison said.

He added that he will extend existing sanctions on Russian-held Crimea and Sevastopol to include Luhansk and Donetsk.

Australia will also move to sanction several Russian banks.“The invasion of Ukraine has effectively already begun,” Morrison said. “Russia is at peak readiness to now complete a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and that is likely to occur within the next 24 hours.”

Morrison added that Australia always stands up to “bullies,” and that he will speak to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Wednesday.6 hr 40 min ago

Russian envoy to US claims sanctions will hurt global markets and “ordinary Americans”

From CNN’s Darya Tarasova in Moscow and Samantha Beech in Atlanta

Moscow’s ambassador to the United States has hit back at the imposition of sanctions on Russia by President Joe Biden, suggesting the move would hurt global financial and energy markets as well as ordinary citizens.

“I don’t remember a single day when our country lived without any restrictions from the Western world. We learned how to work in such conditions. And not only survive, but also develop our state,” said Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, according to a post on the Russian Embassy Facebook page early Wednesday.

“There is no doubt that the sanctions imposed against us will hurt the global financial and energy markets,” he added. “The United States will not be left out, where ordinary citizens will feel the full consequences of rising prices.”

“With regard to Moscow, new US sanctions will not solve anything, Russia has learned to work and develop under restrictions.”

Context on the sanctions: Biden laid out what he called a “first tranche” of US sanctions against Russia for its actions in eastern Ukraine, including on two large financial institutions, Russian sovereign debt and Russian elites and their family members. He said the sanctions would effectively “cut off Russia’s government from Western finance.”

Biden pledged that his administration is using “every tool at our disposal” to limit the effect on gas prices in the US, acknowledging that Americans will likely see rising prices at the pump in the coming months.

Read more about the US sanctions here.