Politics

Canada sanctions more than 200 Putin loyalists in Ukraine's separatist Donbas region

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.

Putin, allies cannot 'redraw the borders of Ukraine with impunity,' says Joly

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly speaks with the media before attending caucus in Ottawa on Wednesday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

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

Canada to pitch mechanism to seize and redistribute sanctioned Russian assets to G7, G20 allies

2 months ago
Duration 8:53
"It's more than signaling...it's real legislation but it's also motivational," said Rob Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada's proposed legislation to change Canada's sanctions law. "Minister Joly will be pitching it to all her G7, G20 allies, the EU, to say this is something we should all be doing and then it will have real impact."

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.

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