Canada is expanding a travel ban on senior members of the Ukrainian government and imposing economic sanctions on President Viktor Yanukovych, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in an emailed statement Thursday.​

“Canada continues to be outraged by the ongoing violence in Ukraine," Harper said in the statement.

Ukraine Protest

An activist carries a tire at the burning barricades close to Independence Square, the epicentre of the unrest in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

"Our government has responded by introducing a travel ban on the regime’s senior leaders and announcing medical aid to assist the protesters in their time of need."

Ukrainian citizens, Harper said, "must be allowed to exercise their democratic right to peaceful protest without being subjected to deadly force and appalling brutality."

The government is expanding travel restrictions originally announced on Jan. 28 and imposing economic sanctions on the Yanukovych regime and its supporters, the news release said.

The travel ban means the officials sanctioned won't be allowed into Canada.

"You are not welcome in Canada and we will continue to take strong action until the violence against the people of Ukraine has stopped and democracy has been restored," Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said at a press conference to announce the sanctions.

No names of those affected by travel ban

Canada deliberately hasn't released a list of which officials are covered by the sanctions, Alexander said.

"We want to be sure we've got everyone. We can expand that list as evidence comes in as [to] who is responsible in the chain of command for these acts of violence," he said, adding that the worst violence has happened in the past few days.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper wouldn't say why the government hasn't released an initial list. The names of those subject to the economic sanctions will be released when they're published in the Canada Gazette, Stephen Lecce said in an email to CBC News.

"With respect to the individuals on the travel ban, at this point we will not be releasing [the names], as we are consulting with our allies on next steps. This is consistent with the January announcement," he said.

The economic sanctions are to "freeze any assets in Canada belonging to senior Ukrainian government officials," according to a release from Harper's office.

The sanctions will also bar any Canadian or anyone in Canada from:

  • Dealing in any property, wherever situated, held by or on behalf of a designated person.
  • Entering into or facilitating, directly or indirectly, any transaction related to property held by or on behalf of a designated person.
  • Providing any financial or other related service related to property held by or on behalf of a designated person.
  • Making goods, wherever situated, available to a designated person.
  • Providing any financial or financial-related service to or for the benefit of a designated person.

The European Union imposed its own sanctions on Ukrainian officials earlier Thursday, as violence escalated and left 70 dead.