MOSCOW, August 8 (RAPSI) - Australia considers toughening sanctions against Russia, The Australian reports, citing Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Abbott is not denying that Australia may be considering new tougher sanctions against Russia. The prime minister said this was being considered after Australian experts left the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine.

He said the damage to Australia from the embargo would be dramatic, as the country "does hundreds of millions of dollars of agricultural business every year with Russia," but defended the sanctions aimed at forcing Russia to act toward the settlement of the months-long conflict in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin singed an order on economic measures to protect the country’s security. The decree banned for a year imports of agricultural and food products from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia. The list includes meat, poultry and milk products as well as fruits and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. The embargo does not include infant foods and goods.

The Russian restrictions came as a response to several rounds of Western sanctions against Russian officials, business people and companies.

Abbott added that if Moscow wants to avoid tougher sanctions, it should stop interfering in Ukraine.