Ukraine invasion: Australia freezes $33 million funds in Russian accounts

As a result of additional sanctions imposed in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 45 million Australian dollars (USD 33 million) have been frozen at an Australian financial institution, according to Australia’s foreign affairs minister.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne refused to identify the institution or reveal who was in possession of the funds.

Sanctions have been levied against more than 350 Russian individuals, including President Vladimir Putin, according to Australian authorities.

Australia has also sanctioned 13 Belarus organisations and persons, including Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin, for their involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed on Tuesday that his country has given A$70 million ($50 million) to fund Ukraine’s lethal defence weapons, which would comprise missiles and ammunition, as part of a larger international effort.

Since last week, Australia has announced that it will only provide military technical aid to other countries in the region. This week, it has shifted its stance completely.

A news conference held on Tuesday by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson revealed that the great majority of the additional military funds for Ukraine would be allocated to lethal weapons systems.

President Obama stated that “we’re talking about missiles, we’re talking about ammunition, we’re talking about aiding them in the defence of their own homeland in Ukraine, and we’ll be doing that in concert with NATO.”

He indicated that the weaponry will be provided as soon as possible, but he did not explain on how this would be accomplished.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also warned Australians against travelling to Ukraine to fight alongside the country’s paramilitary forces against the Russian military, noting that the legal status of foreign combatants in Ukraine is unclear.

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