MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. The Australian authorities have said they are taking financial sanctions and entry restrictions against seven Russians over the Kerch Strait incident, as follows from a statement by Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne published on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
"Today I announce targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against seven Russian individuals for their role in the interception and seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels that were attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait. Australia is concerned by this escalation of tensions in the Sea of Azov in November 2018," the statement runs.
Australia took similar measures against three "leaders" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics.
Earlier, the European Union blacklisted eight Russian military servicemen and FSB officers over the Kerch Strait incident.
The individuals are: Sergey Stankevich (Head of Border Directorate for Russian Federal Security Service for Crimea); Andrey Shein (Deputy Head of Border Directorate); Aleksey Salyaev (Commanding Officer of border patrol boat Don); Andrei Shipitsin (Commanding Officer of border patrol boat Izumrud); Aleksey Shatokhin (Head of Service for Kerch Control Point); Ruslan Romashkin (Head of Service for Crimea Control Point); Sergey Shcherbakov (Commanding Officer of Suzdalets); and Alexander Dvornikov (Commander of Southern Military District of Russian Armed Forces, including Crimea and Sevastopol).
On November 25, 2018 three Ukrainian naval ships violated the rules of navigation through Russia’s territorial waters on the way from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. Military force had to be used to stop them in the Kerch Strait. The ships were brought to Kerch. A criminal case was opened over the violation of Russia’s state border. The Ukrainian crews were arrested.