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22 February 2022

Independent Senator Rex Patrick today repeated his call for the Australian Government to impose Magnitsky sanctions on Russia without further delay and warn that the Russian Ambassador will be expelled in the event that Russia further invades Ukraine. 

“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of independence of Ukrainian separatist regions is a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty ad international law and another provocation intended to prepare the ground for military aggression,” Senator Patrick said. 

“Russia’s actions are very clearly a threat to international peace and security.”

“Rather than wait for Russian bombs to start falling on Kiev, the Australian Government should commence implementing sanctions against Russia without further delay.” 

As I pointed out two days ago, Australia’s new Magnitsky-style international sanctions law empowers Foreign Minister Marise Payne to impose economic and financial sanctions against foreign governments, organisations and individuals that are responsible for “threats to international peace and security.” 

“Our new sanctions regime is designed to allow the Australian Government to be proactive in relation to threats of military aggression, not merely respond after an attack has commenced.” 

“In the event that Russia does further invade Ukraine, Australia should immediately expel Russia’s Ambassador in Canberra, His Excellency Dr Alexey Pavlovsky, their Consul-General in Sydney, Mr Igor Arzhaev, and other senior Russian diplomatic and consular personnel. Given the trend of events, they would be well advised to start packing their bags now.” 

“Such immediate action would send a clear message about the unacceptability of Russia’s aggressive actions and also have the positive consequence of disrupting Russian intelligence activities in Australia.”