Canada slaps sanctions on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich
Longtime Chelsea owner has large stake in steel company Evraz, which operates in Canada
Canada has announced another round of sanctions against Russia, including high-profile oligarch Roman Abramovich.
In total, five top business leaders were added on Friday to the list of those deemed to be enabling President Vladimir Putin in his war against Ukraine.
The federal government also sanctioned 32 organizations and companies associated with Russia's military and security services, including the country's foreign intelligence service.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who announced the new penalties on the last day of his European trip, said the Russian elites will be prevented from doing business in Canada and their assets will be frozen.
Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club in the United Kingdom, also holds a 28 per cent stake in Evraz, the steel company that has operations in Western Canada.
Trudeau said the federal government has been mindful of the potential impact, but remains confident there will be no impact on the 1,700 people who work for Evraz in Regina.
"The sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs like Abramovich are directed at them so that they cannot profit or benefit from economic activities in Canada — or the hard work of Canadians working in companies that they have investments in," Trudeau said in Warsaw, before boarding a flight home.
"We are obviously going to watch carefully, but we are confident that this will not impact the hard working Canadians who are doing good work in companies across the country."
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said part of the discussion around sanctions has involved whether or not there would be so-called collateral damage on the Canadian economy and workers.
Abramovich has direct ties to Putin, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
PM says sanctions will make an impact
The U.K. announced sanctions against him on Thursday, saying "Abramovich is or has been involved in destabilizing Ukraine and undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, via Evraz PLC."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently said "there can be no safe havens" for those who have supported the invasion of Ukraine.
WATCH | U.K. sanctions hit Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea soccer club:
The U.K. says Abramovich exercises effective control of the company.
However, Evraz released a statement and said it does not consider Abramovich to have effective control of the company, due to his status as a minority shareholder, with him having no right to appoint or remove a majority of the members of the board and his inability to ensure the company acts in "accordance to his wishes."
The company also said 10 of its board members had quit after the British sanctions announcement.
Trudeau continued to insist, as he has throughout his trip, that sanctions are having a meaningful effect on Russia's ability to wage war in Ukraine.
"We have seen the collapse of the Russian economy, collapse of the ruble, the shutdown continually of the Russian stock exchange," he said.
"We've seen serious impacts, yes, on the Russian people, but we've also seen serious impacts on those who have enabled and encouraged Vladimir Putin over the past number of years."
He said the West will keep up the pressure "for as long as it takes."