Canada sanctions more than 200 Putin loyalists in Ukraine's separatist Donbas region
Putin, allies cannot 'redraw the borders of Ukraine with impunity,' says Joly
The Canadian government said Wednesday that it has imposed sanctions on more than 200 people who are loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
Russian forces have been backing separatist rebels in the Donbas area for eight years following Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Putin has now refocused his war on Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking eastern region, pulling back from an unsuccessful attempt to take the capital Kyiv and drive out the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Canadian sanctions are focused on the renewed Russian attempt to annex areas of the Donbas by targeting people attempting to support the next phase of the two-month-old Russian war on Ukraine.
"Canada will not stand idly by and watch President Putin and his accomplices attempt to redraw the borders of Ukraine with impunity," Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement. "International law must be respected."
WATCH: Liberals say Canada will push others to seize sanctioned Russian assets
The federal government is also looking to give itself the power to seize and sell foreign assets that are frozen under sanctions. Joly said Wednesday Canada would lobby allies to give themselves similar powers.
Global Affairs Canada said the new measures target 11 senior officials and 192 other members of the People's Councils of the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk for supporting Putin's attack on the area.
Canada has sanctioned more than 1,000 people or entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus since the Feb. 24 invasion, bringing to 1,400 the total that have been sanctioned since the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Last week, Canada added 14 more Russians to its sanctions list, including Putin's two adult daughters, Maria Vorontsova, 36, and Katerina Tikhonova, 35.