(Bloomberg) -- Australia placed sanctions on three individuals involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014, after two were convicted in the Hague late last year for the attack that killed all 298 people on board. 

The financial sanctions and travel bans target Russian Sergey Dubinskiy and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, who were both found guilty in 2022 alongside a third perpetrator, Igor Girkin, who was previously sanctioned by Australia in 2014 for supporting separatist activity in eastern Ukraine.

Australia also sanctioned Russian Armed Forces colonel Sergey Muchkaev, whose unit supplied the Buk-TELAR missile that downed Flight MH17, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement on Saturday. 

“The three people sanctioned today actively supported actions and policies that threatened the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Wong said. “Working closely with our partners, in particular the Netherlands, Australia is steadfast in our commitment to seek truth, justice and accountability for the victims of the downing of Flight MH17.”

Most of the victims of the flight en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch citizens. The Netherlands has held Russia liable for the incident on July 17, 2014, after a multi-year probe by a five-country investigation team concluded that the missile that downed the plane belonged to Russia’s 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade in Kursk. Ukraine has accused Russia-backed separatists in its east of shooting down the plane.

Embassy Standoff

The sanctions come as the Australian government faces a standoff over the site of Moscow’s proposed new embassy in Canberra, with local media reporting a Russian diplomat is squatting on the land despite the lease being canceled.

An unidentified Russian diplomat has been living for several days in a portable building on the land previously held by Moscow, The Australian newspaper reported, adding that the man couldn’t be evicted as he holds diplomatic immunity. A Russian embassy spokesman declined to comment about the diplomat when contacted Friday by Bloomberg News.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced earlier this month that he was canceling Russia’s lease because of security risks arising from the site’s proximity to parliament.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on June 15 that Australia was engaging in “Russophobic hysteria” in canceling the lease, the state-run TASS news agency reported, adding there may be reciprocal actions taken by Moscow.

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