Australia imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans relating to Russia against designated persons and entities in June and September 2014.  Expanded sanctions were announced in September 2014. Following a consultation period, the expanded regime has just taken effect.

The expanded sanctions restrict:

  • export to and import from Russia of arms and related materiel;
  • export to Russia of specified items for use in petroleum exploration and production;
  • export to Crimea and Sevastopol of specified items for use in the energy and minerals sector;
  • commercial dealing with certain capital financial market instruments issued by certain Russian state-owned entities; and
  • Australian investment in Crimea and Sevastopol related to infrastructure, transport, telecommunications, energy, oil, gas and minerals sectors.

The expanded sanctions are aligned with sanctions implemented by the EU, Canada and the US.  Several changes to the draft regulations were made to more closely align with the approach taken by the EU (eg, to seek to have consistent definitions of prohibited activities and include some EU carve outs from the restrictions). Another important change was to narrow the scope of restricted services from what was originally proposed. Details of the new sanctions can be found here: http://www.dfat.gov.au/international-relations/security/sanctions/sanctions-regimes/Pages/russia.aspx

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