Australia is being urged to join any G7 push to strengthen sanctions against Russia when the world’s most powerful leaders meet in Japan this week.
G7 leaders will take further steps to choke energy and exports funding Moscow’s war effort and target third countries enabling sanction evasion, Reuters is reporting.
The US is also likely to push for an automatic ban on entire categories of goods to Russia unless they are placed on a list of approved items.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia said while the nation wasn’t part of the G7, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese should join any further approaches to kneecap the Russian economy when he travels to Hiroshima for the May 19 to 21 meetings.
Vasyl Myroshnychenko said sanctions against Russia were a crucial part of the strategy to cut the Kremlin off from the western world and hamper its ability to fund the war.
“Australia has been joining the sanctions on Russia from day one of the invasion. We really appreciated those sanctions that were imposed on some individuals, some companies, some products,” he told AAP.
“The problem is they use other countries as intermediaries so we need to ensure we isolate Russia as much as possible and cut off their ability to fund the war.
“Everything in the Russian economy is going towards manufacturing missiles and ammunition that is being used to kill Ukrainians and children.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was the government’s longstanding practice to not speculate or publicly comment on potential sanctions.
A department spokesperson said more than 1000 targeted financial actions and a comprehensive suite of import and export bans to Russia had was in place.
“As a result, Australia’s two-way trade with Russia has declined to negligible levels,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said sanctions were applied on a case-by-case basis.
“The Australian government takes sanctions evasion seriously,” they said.
“We continue to work closely with our partners, including the G7, to support Ukraine and maintain pressure on Russia.”
Mr Albanese said he looked forward to meeting the US, UK and Japanese leaders while in Japan for G7.
(Australian Associated Press)