Scott Morrison with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in 2018 (Image: Lukas Coch/AAP)
Scott Morrison with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in 2018 (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Australia is set to join Western allies in implementing “swift and severe” sanctions against Russia in response to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine.

This morning the National Security Committee of Cabinet will meet to finalise sanctions, hours after US President Joe Biden called Putin’s actions “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

Yesterday Putin announced Russia recognised the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, and said he would send troops in for “peacekeeping missions”, widely viewed as a pretext for a full-scale invasion.