Prime Minister Scott Morrison has, after a slight delay, come out strongly against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Morrison has condemned Putin for raising the nuclear alert today, after hundreds of Ukraine citizens were killed in the fighting.
Following Putin’s widely criticised invasion of Ukraine, Morrison has added Putin’s name to a very short list of world leaders who are not allowed to enter Australia. The decision was finalised after Putin’s troops pushed forward in Ukraine, attacking the capital city of Kyiv overnight.
The Prime Minister’s action follows an extensive range of penalties applied to the Russian regime by world leaders including severe sanctions, air space closures, the seizure of assets from Russian nationals, business bans, and blocking a handful of Russian banks from the crucial SWIFT payment system.
Planes have been turned around and sent home, with Russia currently only able to fly commercial aircraft East.
Australia will also be working closely with NATO and its partners with a $3 million US dollar donation into a trust fund set up for Ukraine to buy non-lethal military equipment and medical supplies.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that Australia will be assisting the Ukraine with lethal military help as well.
“Australia will work with NATO and our partners to provide lethal as well as non-lethal military equipment, medical supplies, and financial assistance to support the people of Ukraine. Details of Australia’s contribution of lethal military equipment are being worked through with our partners and will be announced soon.”
The economic chaos has led to stock market panic, with the Rouble crashing 40% at market open. There are predictions that there will be a run on the Russian currency as businesses attempt to abandon the currency as quickly as possible.
Westpac strategists commented at the market open on Monday, “The escalating crisis in Ukraine will force markets to price in substantially higher geopolitical risk premium.”
Already, Australian mining giant Andrew Forrest has abandoned his plans for green energy investments in Russia, warning that Putin was “not to be underestimated”. Reports have said that he will move the Green Hydrogen project to Gladstone with a $3 billion investment coming to Queensland instead of Russia.
BP has also abandoned a 20% stake in Rosneft – a Russian energy group.
Google Maps has disabled parts of its service in Ukraine by parent company Alphabet Inc in the interest of safety so that their platform cannot be used to track civilian or military movement via the live traffic service.
Major protests have erupted in Europe against Putin as Belarus – Putin’s longtime ally – threatens to declare war on Ukraine. President Alexander Lukashenko – who has been threatening the West for many years while helping to funnel tens of thousands of refugees into Europe to destabilise its nations – said that the West’s sanctions were pushing the Kremlin toward World War Three.
“Now there is a lot of talk against the banking sector, gas, oil, SWIFT. It’s worse than war. This is pushing Russia into a Third World War. We need to be restrained here so as not to get into trouble. Because nuclear war is the end of everything.”
Belarus has invited Russian nuclear weapons into its territory.