Canada Ramps Up Sanctions Against Russia After Attack on Ukraine

By Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier
Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET
February 24, 2022Updated: February 24, 2022

Canada announced additional sanctions on Russia Thursday after it launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine. They will target, among other things, Russian elites loyal to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a press conference announcing the measures, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the attack the “greatest threat to European stability since World War II.”

Trudeau said the sanctions will target 58 individuals and entities, including members of Putin’s entourage, as well as private military contractor Wagner Group and Russian banks.

Members of Russia’s Security Council are also being targeted, such as the ministers of defence, finance, and justice.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the people being targeted are “the people who have been Putin’s fellow travellers, people who have been able to become extremely rich, enjoy all of the pleasures of the West, of Western democracies, while aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin.”

In a cross-department technical briefing on Ukraine later in the day, a Global Affairs Canada (GAC) official said the sanctions target 31 individuals and 27 entities.

GAC Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Sandra McCardell said Canadians will be prohibited from doing business with these yet-to-be-announced entities.

“Amongst the entities, we have banks, oil and gas companies, defence, transportation, telecom, and a data company,” said McCardell.

In addition, Canada is cancelling all exports permits to Russia. Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said this represents hundreds of permits worth over $700 million. Joly said these measures will affect companies in the sectors of aerospace, information technologies, and mineral sector technologies.

“Canada has one of the strongest package of sanctions being released today. And together with those from our allies, we’re inflicting severe pain on the Russian regime and the Russian economy,” Joly said.

Putin himself is not being targeted at this stage, but Joly said what they announced today is a first important package of sanctions and more would be coming.

Canada had already placed sanctions on the country on Feb. 22 when Russia recognized the breakaway Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, including targeting members of Russia’s Parliament who voted in favour of the recognition and prohibiting Canadians from conducting specific transactions and activities in these regions.

The government had announced at the same time it would deploy up to 460 personnel to Europe in support of NATO, joining the 800 troops currently deployed there. Also, 3,400 troops are authorized to deploy to support the NATO Response Force if required.

A second frigate will be sent to participate in NATO’s Standing Naval Forces, and a CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft will also be tasked to Europe and operate under NATO.

Trudeau also said his government will prioritize immigration applications from Ukraine.

For Canadian citizens and permanent residents currently in Ukraine, Trudeau said he has arranged safe passage at the land borders of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova.

During the technical briefing, GAC Acting-ADM for consular affairs Julie Sunday said her department is recommending to Canadians to shelter-in-place until it is safe to leave.

Russia launched a multi-pronged attack against Ukraine in the early hours of Feb. 24.

Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), said during the technical briefing that Russia is using a wide array of means in the attack.

“This has been a pan-domain operation across the land, sea, and air, cyberspace, and information,” Auchterlonie said.

A U.S. Department of Defense official said Western intelligence believes Russia is trying to decapitate the government of Ukraine and seeks to install their own officials to take charge of the country.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state-run media that his country is determined to “neutralize the [Ukrainian] military potential, which was boosted considerably lately, including with the active assistance of foreign nations.”