Canada announces $250M loan to Ukraine, new round of sanctions on Russia
Freeland says confiscating Russian assets and giving them to Ukraine to pay for war is 'entirely appropriate'
Canada has unveiled a new round of sanctions targeting Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, along with a new loan of $250 million to help Ukraine's government continue functioning.
Speaking by phone Friday after meeting with G7 finance ministers in Bonn, Germany, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the additional funding brings Canada's financial commitment to Ukraine to $1.87 billion in 2022.
Freeland said G7 nations are resolute in their ongoing support for Ukraine and have expressed interest in legislation Parliament is considering that would allow Canada to go beyond freezing Russian assets.
Freeland said the legislation — contained in the budget implementation act currently working its way through committee — would allow Canada to confiscate Russian assets and use them to help Ukraine.
"Ukraine's financial needs are huge and the needs for the rebuilding are huge and it is entirely appropriate for the aggressor to help pay for that rebuilding," Freeland said. "Canada has an opportunity here to lead by example and to show what can be done."
The finance minister said she also spoke with G7 finance ministers about other paths that could be taken to quickly confiscate Russian assets "because Ukraine needs them, Ukraine needs the money."
The G7 has collectively given $19.8 billion in direct financial assistance to Ukraine since the invasion began, Freeland said.
More Russians sanctioned
The federal government also announced a new round of sanctions today targeting 14 Russians, including oligarchs, their family members and other associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime.
"These individuals have directly enabled Vladimir Putin's senseless war in Ukraine and bear responsibility for the pain and suffering of the people of Ukraine," reads a statement from Global Affairs Canada.
The new sanctions bring the number of individuals and entities that have been sanctioned since Russia first invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014 to 1,450. More than 1,000 of those individuals and entities were sanctioned after the full-scale invasion of the country earlier this year.
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The federal government also announced a ban on the export of some luxury goods to Russia and on imports of similar goods from Russia. The banned Russian goods include "alcoholic beverages, seafood, fish and non-industrial diamonds," according to a government statement.
The ban also affects goods like alcohol, tobacco, textiles, sports wear, luxury clothing, art and jewelry. The government said that the value of trade in these goods with Russia was more than $75 million in 2021.
"Canada, together with our allies, will be relentless in our efforts to maintain pressure on the Russian regime until it is no longer able to wage war," said Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly in a media statement.