(QHA) -

The Australian authorities are considering introducing new restrictive measures against Russia if Moscow decides to bring a "peacekeeping" contingent to Ukraine, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said, Interfax-Ukraine informs.

"We are working towards stronger sanctions," he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

He also added that "the way to avoid increased sanctions is for Russia to call off what appears to be in preparation for Russia [the use of peacekeeping forces in Ukraine], to respect the independence of Ukraine, to stop interfering in the affairs of Ukraine, to stop supporting separatists in Ukraine."

Abbott said that at this moment, Russian forces were massing on the border with Ukraine.

"If there is any movement by his [Russian President Vladimir Putin's] forces across the border, it won't be a humanitarian mission, it will be an invasion," he said.

QHA