Canada levels new sanctions against Ukrainian rebel leaders, Russian firms
The Conservative government has announced further sanctions against Ukrainian rebels and an array of Russian arms, financial and energy companies thought to be assisting them.
Eight Ukrainians in leadership positions in the rebel-held Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine are the targets of the new sanctions, as are armed separatist groups known as the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic.
Russian arms, financial and energy companies are also facing further Canadian sanctions.
"The measures we are announcing today include sanctions against a broad range of entities from Russia’s arms industry, as well as from its financial and energy sectors. Our unequivocal aim is to further increase economic and political pressure on the Putin regime," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a written statement.
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Canada has imposed sanctions on two Ukrainian groups: the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.
Harper said "the armed separatist groups... with direct support from Russia, have engaged in egregious acts against the armed forces of Ukraine, international monitors deployed to the area, and the civilian population."
“As we have seen with the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 last week, the Putin regime’s failure to end its support to armed separatist groups constitutes a very real threat to international peace and security.
"We are ready for further actions if the Putin regime’s military aggression continues," Harper said.
Here is a list of today's sanctions by the Canadian government:
- Vladimir Antyufeyev, so-called deputy prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
- Marat Bashirov, so-called prime minister of the council of ministers of the Luhansk People’s Republic.
- Alexandr Yurivich Borodai, so-called prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
- Yuriy Ivakin, so-called minister of internal affairs of the Luhansk People’s Republic.
- Alexandr Alexsandrovich Kalyussky, so-called deputy prime minister for social affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
- Aleksey Karyakin, so-called supreme council chair of the Luhansk People’s Republic.
- Alexandr Khryakov, so-called information and mass communications minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
- Vasyl Nikitin, so-called vice prime minister of the council of ministers of the Luhansk People’s Republic.
- Federal State Unitary Enterprise State Research and Production Enterprise Bazalt
- Gazprombank OAO
- JSC Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies
- JSC Concern Sozvezdie
- JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia
- Kalashnikov Concern
- KBP Instrument Design Bureau
- Donetsk People’s Republic
- Luhansk People’s Republic
Canadian aid to Ukraine
Ukraine's ambassador to Canada, meantime, appeared to dial back published reports of comments he made complaining that Canada has failed to deliver millions in financial aid that it's promised to the eastern European country.
Vadym Prystaiko was quoted as saying that he was "at the end of my patience" with Canada.
But on Thursday, his office issued a statement saying he was "grateful for Canada's commitment, the support Canada has provided and Prime Minister Harper's strong stand which has led the international response to the crisis facing Ukraine."
Canada had pledged Ukraine more than $200 million in loans and loan guarantees, as well as communications devices, medical supplies and military equipment that includes body armour.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who is currently on an official visit to Mongolia, said on Monday Canada was ready to level more sanctions against Russia in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine.
While Baird didn’t directly blame Russia for shooting down the plane, he said it must take some responsibility. “The Kremlin may not have pulled the trigger, but it certainly loaded the gun and put it in the murderer’s hand,” he said.
Baird told reporters new sanctions would be introduced against individuals and entities, as well as entire sectors of the Russian economy.
He said they would be similar to those already imposed by the U.S.
With files from CBC's Hannah Thibedeau, The Canadian Press