March 7, 2022

-Global News

Canada is sanctioning 10 more individuals in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine on the advice of President Vladimir Putin’s top critic, Alexei Navalny.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new sanctions on Monday while in the United Kingdom alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The 10 individuals are “complicit in this unjustified invasion,” Trudeau said. Their identities were not immediately revealed.

“This includes former and current senior government officials, oligarchs and supporters of Russian leadership,” he said. “The names of these individuals come from a list compiled by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.”

Trudeau was in the United Kingdom to meet with Johnson and Rutte to kick off his week in Europe where he will discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine with Canada’s allies.

Navalny, 45, has been in jail since 2021 after returning from Germany earlier that year where he underwent months of treatment to recover from being poisoned with a rare nerve agent in Siberia in August 2020.

Navalny, who has been a thorn in the Russian president’s side for years, has called on Russians to stage daily protests against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, Ukrainian and Russian officials met for a third round of talks after Moscow announced yet another ceasefire and a handful of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to flee Ukraine.

Previously such measures have fallen apart and Moscow’s armed forces continued to pummel some Ukrainian cities with rockets.

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of civilians attempting to flee were forced to shelter from Russian shelling in cities in the centre, northern and southern parts of the country, Ukrainian officials said.

The war, which began Feb. 24 after Putin ordered his troops into the country, is well into its second week. However, Putin’s plan to overrun the country quickly has been met with fierce resistance.

Russian troops have made significant advances in southern Ukraine and along the coast, but many of its efforts have stalled, including a massive military convoy that has been almost motionless for days north of Kyiv.

Since the invasion began, western allies including Canada have punished Russia and its collaborators with severe sanctions, and have threatened to impose more if Moscow continues its aggression in Ukraine.

Johnson announced Monday that the U.K., Canada and the Netherlands will create an international support group to coordinate allied efforts to provide Ukraine “long-term and unwavering assistance now and in the future.”

Last week, Canada said it’s imposing a 35 per cent tariff on goods from Russia and its ally Belarus. Furthermore, the federal government is revoking Russia’s and Belarus’ status as a most-favoured-nation trade partner under World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions.

In addition to sanctions, Canada has promised to continue to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. National Defence Minister Anita Anand said last week Ottawa will send up to 4,500 M72 rocket launchers and up to 7,500 hand grenades in addition to previous lethal aid sent to the country.

Canada will also be providing Ukraine with $1 million toward the purchase of high-resolution modern satellite imagery, Anand added.

“The courage of Ukrainians in standing up to the Russian invaders has inspired and humbled us all,” Trudeau said on Monday.

“We need to show ourselves as determined to push back against Putin, against the Kremlin, as hard as we can and as effectively as we can.”

Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special operation” with the ultimate aim of capturing Kyiv and toppling the government, which Putin regards as a puppet of the United States.

The conflict has uprooted more than 1.7 million people in what the United Nations calls the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

In the weeks leading up to the war, Moscow built up roughly 150,000 troops near the border, and continuously denied Western accusations it was planning an invasion of Ukraine.

Talks to bring an end to the conflict have yet to produce any breakthroughs.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba are scheduled to meet at a forum in southern Turkey, which could be the first potential talks between the top diplomats since the war began.