Canada imposes sanctions against 16 more Russian entities
Published Sunday, May 4, 2014 11:25AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 4, 2014 2:14PM EDT
Canada is imposing economic sanctions against 16 additional Russian entities, over Russia's "illegal occupation" of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the new sanctions in a statement issued on Sunday.
"Russia's illegal occupation of Ukraine and provocative military activity remains a serious concern to the international community," he said in the statement. "The measures we are announcing today will continue to increase economic pressure on Russia and those responsible for the crisis in Ukraine."
The 16 entities are mostly made up of Russian banks and companies, including InvestCapitalBank, JSB Sobinbank, Volga Group and Aquanika.
Over the past several months, the Canadian government has issued a series of sanctions against Russian nationals and companies over the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.
In response to the Canadian sanctions, Russia has imposed its own sanctions against several Canadian officials and lawmakers.
Last week, the federal government announced new sanctions against nine Russian individuals and two Russian banks. The EU and the U.S. have also imposed sanctions against several Russian nationals and companies.
The Canadian government has made several commitments to a NATO “reassurance package” to help assure allies and promote security in eastern and central Europe.
Six CF-18 fighter jets, and accompanying ground crew, left Canada for Romania last week to conduct training activities and help with NATO air patrols of the Baltic region.
The federal government also committed HMCS Regina to NATO's reassurance measures. The Royal Canadian Navy ship will leave its post in the Arabian Sea to help NATO's maritime patrols in the eastern Mediterranean. NATO announced in April that it was bolstering its patrols in both the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas.
In addition to the jets and HMCS Regina, about 50 Canadian soldiers will be taking part in military exercises in Poland starting Monday – also part of the NATO reassurance measures.
The government also announced that a small team from the Canadian Forces will be conducting a special mission looking into concerns of "unusual military activities" in Ukraine. Later this month, Canada will be sending up to 500 people to Ukraine to act as elections monitors in the country's presidential election.
Harper said on Sunday that the government is committed to working with allies to "preserve and promote a free, democratic and peaceful world, and will take further actions if Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity continues to be threatened."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence James Bezan said the government's sanctions against Russia are having an impact.
"We're seeing Russia entering a recession," he told CTV's Question Period. "We're seeing that their credit ratings have been downgraded down to junk bond status by various organizations, and we're also seeing the dollars and investments within Russia fleeing Russia, and that's hurting their economy."
With files from The Canadian Press