OTTAWA -- Ukraine is asking Canada to impose more sanctions on Russia as tensions between the two eastern European countries threaten to erupt into open conflict.

Ukraine's ambassador made the appeal during an appearance before a House of Commons committee in which he also asked that Canada extend its military training mission in his country and support Ukraine's bid to join the NATO military alliance.

The comments follow Russia's seizure of two Ukrainian gunboats, a tugboat and their 24 sailors off the Crimean Peninsula last month and its support for elections in a breakaway region of east Ukraine.

The ambassador says the U.S. and some European countries had imposed new sanctions on Russia even before the naval confrontation, and that the incident and elections in Donetsk and Luhansk should prompt Canada to follow suit.

Shevchenko also says his country is in talks with Canada about extending and expanding the training mission that is due to expire at the end of March, which was launched in 2015 and has trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.