Justin Trudeau condemned an “unjustified” and “unacceptable” attack in Ukraine, an “irresponsible and dangerous military strike”, spoke out against Russia and announced a new set of economic sanctions. Canada is targeting members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle this time, as well as the Russian elite and all Canadian exports to the country.
“Let me be clear: Russia’s attack on Ukraine is also an attack on democracy, international law and freedom,” Justin Trudeau chanted Thursday, just over 12 hours after Russian forces launched their offensive in Ukraine.
In response, Canada decided to target members of the Russian Federation’s Security Council, which advises President Putin on security matters, including his defense, finance and justice ministers. The new economic sanctions, which follow those announced on Tuesday, also target 31 individuals – including members of Russia’s elite and their families – and 27 companies – banks, oil and gas companies, transport companies, defense or telecommunications firms, and the private military company Groupe Wagner. Four Ukrainians are also being targeted for involvement in the country’s destabilization.
Canada is also attacking exports to Russia. All existing permits were canceled and new applications were rejected. No mining, technology or aerospace goods will be sent to Russia, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said.
“These sanctions are far-reaching. They will inflict heavy costs on the complicit Russian elites and they will limit President Putin’s ability to continue funding this unwarranted invasion,” Justin Trudeau said, arguing that Vladimir Putin cannot benefit from the trade and economic growth that he is bringing about rejected international order offers .
For her part, Minister Joly warned Moscow that this is just the beginning. If Russia goes ahead, Canada, along with its allies, will continue to crack down. Belarus, which supported Russia and through which troops invaded Ukraine, could also bear Canada’s brunt.
Kerry Buck, former Canadian ambassador to NATO, notes that the new sanctions are far stricter than those imposed in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. These types of fines are “never magic bullets,” she concedes, but they are imposed in conjunction with other military deterrents. And Canada, he believes, would do well to proceed step by step. “You have to have room for maneuver and other sanctions in hand to adapt to what Vladimir Putin does next,” Mr.me Desire.
The Russian ambassador in Ottawa, Oleg Stepanov, was briefed by Minister Joly, who summoned him on Thursday. “As we speak, the bond of trust between Canada and Russia has been broken,” she announced.
The Canadian Army no longer has a single soldier in Ukraine. The approximately 200 members of the armed forces who were on site with the local army for the training assignment Unify were brought to Poland.
The last Canadian diplomats who had left the capital Kyiv for Lviv were also transferred to Poland on Thursday.
Defense Secretary Anita Anand said another 3,400 Canadian troops are ready to deploy to Europe to protect NATO allies if needed. But the minister expressly emphasized that there is currently no combat use.
Ukraine is not part of NATO, member countries do not have to defend it. And Canada and its allies will not intervene militarily, Kerry Buck assures, because “the risk of a NATO-Russia conflict is too great.”
Consular assistance and immigration
Canadian citizens and permanent residents still in Ukraine have been asked to leave the country by transiting through neighboring countries. Canada has agreements in place to ensure safe border crossings with Poland – where many refugees are already arriving – Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. Passports can be issued “in urgent cases”.
For Ukrainian nationals wishing to immigrate to Canada, their applications will be given priority. The immigration service approved nearly 2,000 applications last month.
Ukrainians already in Canada can apply for an extension of their study or work permits, while visitors can apply for a work permit if they have a job offer. Ottawa will also launch a program that will be used to issue work permits for Ukrainians on Canadian soil. The government has also established a hotline to answer questions from people in Canada and abroad about immigration (613-321-4243).
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