Australia imposes sanctions on two Russian billionaires linked to the mining sector

Australia imposed sanctions on two Russian mining elites on Friday, one of which is a billionaire with investments tied to a joint venture venture on alumina with Rio Tinto in Gladstone.

Australian Foreign Minister Maris Bean said her country is working closely with international partners to increase sanctions pressure on the elite close to Russian President Vladimir Putin following his invasion of Ukraine.

“Australia has now added two billionaires with business interests in Australia, Oleg Deripaska and Victor Vekselberg “, we read in a note.

These measures add to restrictions on 41 elite members and their first-degree relatives who already face targeted financial sanctions and travel bans, he added.

Vekselberg is an investor in the Russian energy sector and has a business in a company working with Origin Energy on a gas project in the Petalu Basin in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Rio Tinto did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the impact of the sanctions on Deripaska, which owns a 44.9% stake in Russia’s EN + aluminum and energy group.

EN + is a major investor in Russia’s Rusal, which owns 20% of Queensland Alumina Refinery Limited in Gladstone, a joint venture with Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto has previously stated that he is reducing his relations with Rusal in the context of his withdrawal from Russia.

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