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Canada announces new sanctions against Russia. This is what they're targeting

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s second tranche of sanctions against Russia for their attack on Ukraine, which includes financial penalties against 58 individuals and entities and the halting of all export permits.

Trudeau said he spoke with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky Thursday morning, and that during a G7 meeting agreed that Russia’s actions will not go unpunished.

“We condemn unequivocally this attack on Ukraine, this invasion of Ukraine, but also the violation of the UN Charter, the principles, the rule of law internationally, and we will respond forcefully to make sure that Russia fails,” he said.

“Russia’s actions stand in direct opposition to the democratic principles that generations of Canadians have fought to protect. Democracies, and democratic leaders everywhere, must come together to defend these principles and stand firmly against authoritarianism.”

The announced sanctions will target members of the Russian elite and their family members, as well as paramilitary organization the Wagner Group, and major Russian banks, among others. Canada will also sanction members of the Russian Security Council, including the defence minister, the finance minister and the justice minister.

In addition to no longer issuing new export permits for Russia, the government will also cancel existing permits.

Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday, hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling, as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee. Ukraine's government pleaded for help as it said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border in a "full-scale war" that could rewrite the geopolitical order.

In the hours since, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that its ground forces have moved into Ukraine from Crimea, the first confirmation from Moscow that its ground forces have moved in.

The federal government has arranged for safe passage for Canadian and permanent resident families at the land borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova, Trudeau said.

Trudeau said the government is also urgently issuing travel documents for those affected, and are prioritizing immigration applications for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada. The government is also launching a new dedicated phone line for anyone in Canada or abroad that have urgent Ukraine-related immigration questions.

“We stand united and steadfast in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty. And we stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people’s right to decide their own future in a free and democratic state,” he said.

Canada’s diplomatic staff in Ukraine have been moved to Poland due to security threats, and Ottawa has suspended operations at its Ukrainian embassy and consulate.

The prime minister was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Anita Anand, and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly.

Freeland echoed the government’s condemnation of the attack.

“The horrific human costs of this cruel invasion are the direct and personal responsibility Vladimir Putin, who has chosen to invade a sovereign democracy and challenge the rules-based international order,” she said.

“History will judge President Putin as harshly as the world condemns him today. Today, he cements his place in the ranks of the reviled European dictators who caused such carnage in the 20th century.”

Earlier this week, the government announced a “first round” of sanctions against Russia, after it recognized the independence of two non-government controlled Eastern Ukraine regions and ordered troops there.

The measures included banning Canadians from all financial dealings with Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as approving a deployment of up to 460 Canadian Armed Forces troops to Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE to “reinforce” Canada’s commitment to NATO.

Anand said 3,400 more troops have been put on standby to assist with the NATO Response Force should they be required.

“I can confirm that the Canadian Armed Forces are ready to assist with the whole of government efforts in the region,” she said.

The government has also sent two shipments of lethal and non-lethal aid to Ukraine, worth nearly $10 million.

Asked whether economic sanctions are sufficient to cease Putin’s progression into Ukraine, Freeland assured that their hyper-targeted design will have an impact.

“What these united sanctions from the West are saying to those people, to the Russian oligarchs, is you’re not going to be able to keep on doing that, you’re not going to be able to be a high roller enjoying all the fantastic things which Western democracy has created and continue to support this evil barbaric policy,” she said.

Joly added that more sanctions are “coming,” but all moves will be made in concert with allies.

“We want to make sure to put maximum pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime and also on the Russian economy. To do that, we need to do the work with our allies…it’s important for us to act as one,” she said.

Earlier in the day, the foreign affairs minister summoned Russia’s ambassador for a meeting to condemn “in the strongest possible terms” Russia’s “egregious” attack on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, opposition parties in Canada have expressed their own condemnation of the invasion.

Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen called Putin’s actions “unacceptable” and “despicable,” and said that the party stands ready to defend the rules-based international order against “grievous” violations of international law.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urged the Liberals to use “all tools” to deter aggression in the region and to engage with allied countries to remove Russia from the SWIFT global interbank payment network.

On the humanitarian front, the party is calling on Ottawa to develop a plan to help Ukrainians in need alongside allies and the United Nations.

With files from CTV News’ Rachel Aiello and The Associated Press.



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