OTTAWA, Feb 25 ― Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday sanctions against 58 Russian individuals and entities in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, which he called “a massive threat to security and peace around the world.”
Ottawa also put 3,400 troops on standby to deploy to Europe, along with aircraft and warships, as Canadian officials warned that more punitive measures would follow over Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to mount a “special military operation” against Kyiv.
“Today in light of Russia's reckless and dangerous military strike, we're imposing further severe sanctions,” Trudeau told a news conference.
The sanctions of 31 individuals and 27 entities will target members of the Russian elite and their families, security officials, the Wagner group ― a shadowy Russia-linked private security firm ― as well as Russian banks, he said.
Canada is also cancelling export permits for Russia, Trudeau added. Officials said those permits are for C$700 million (RM2.3 billion) worth of goods in mostly aerospace, information technology and mining.
And Ottawa said it has moved its diplomatic personnel out of Ukraine and into Poland for security reasons, while the 3,400 Canadian soldiers have been placed on a “high state of readiness” in case they're needed to bolster Nato, a senior commander told a briefing.
“President Putin's brazen disregard for international law, democracy and human life are a massive threat to security and peace around the world,” Trudeau said, pledging to “punish Russia.”
In a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky moments before making his nationally televised address, Trudeau said he pledged Canada's steadfast support for Ukraine's sovereignty and right to self-determination.
Zelensky tweeted after the call about the need for “additional tough sanctions against Russia,” adding: “I count on leadership of Canada in this process!”
Trudeau took part in a morning meeting yesterday with other leaders of the G7 and Nato alliance.
Earlier this week, Ottawa imposed a ban on all commercial dealings with two pro-Russian separatist territories in Ukraine after Putin declared them independent.
The Canadian government had also already sanctioned Russian lawmakers, state-backed banks and banned Canadians from buying Russian sovereign debt.
Ottawa in recent years has sent military trainers to Ukraine that have instructed some 35,000 Ukrainian troops, according to Defense Minister Anita Anand.
It also recently sent lethal military weaponry to Kyiv. And Dan Rogers, deputy chief of foreign signals intelligence at the Communications Security Establishment, confirmed yesterday that the CSE has shared with Ukraine information on Russian cyberattacks to help defend itself.
Canada has a large Ukrainian diaspora, numbering more than 1.3 million. ― AFP