Australia will not sanction Russian tourists, Ukraine military assistance to continue for the 'long haul' – ABC News

Australia will not sanction Russian tourists, Ukraine military assistance to continue for the 'long haul'
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Australia will not ban Russian tourists from entering the country as part of sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine, Defence Minister Richard Marles has said.
Since the start of the conflict, Australia has sanctioned hundreds of Russian individuals and entities, including most of Russia's banking sector and all organisations responsible for the country's sovereign debt.
It has also supplied defence equipment and humanitarian supplies to Ukraine, while outlawing exports of alumina and aluminium ores, including bauxite, to Russia.
The Ukrainian President wants Western nations to essentially ban Russians from entering their countries. Here's what we know about his request and who's supporting it. 
Asked if Australia would also ban Russian tourists, Mr Marles said sanctions were aimed at Russia's government, "not the Russian people themselves".
"This is not something we are considering at the moment," he told the ABC's Insiders program.
Last  month, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Western nations to ban Russian citizens from entering their countries.
So far, Poland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Estonia have stopped issuing tourist visas to Russians and Finland cut the number of visas it issues to Russians by 90 per cent.
In July, Australia pledged 60 Bushmasters and 28 M113AS4 Armoured Vehicles to Ukraine as part of more than $385 million in military assistance.
Mr Marles said that support "making a real difference" to Ukraine forces, calling Australia "one of the largest non-NATO military support of Ukraine".
Mr Marles refused to be drawn on whether Australia would provide more Bushmasters and other protected vehicles to Ukraine after a recent request from the Ukrainian ambassador to Australia.
"I think we do need to be preparing ourselves for protracted conflict here and on that basis, we get that we are going to need to provide support for Ukraine over the long term," Mr Marles said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy's appeal for Australian-made armoured vehicles has been answered, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirming Bushmasters will be sent to join the fight against Russian forces.
Also on Sunday, Mr Marles said Australia's deal with the United States and Britain to build nuclear-powered submarines under an alliance dubbed AUKUS remained "on track".
Australia in June reached a 555 million euro ($820 million) settlement with French military shipyard Naval Group over its 2021 scrapping of a multi-billion-dollar conventional submarine deal in favour of nuclear-powered subs via AUKUS.
"We are confident we will be able to make an announcement about which submarine in the first part of next year," Mr Marles said, adding that it was important not to view the submarine acquisition process as "some kind of competition between the United States and the United Kingdom".
"Both countries are working very closely with us to help us acquire this capability," he said.
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