Canada and Ukraine are steadfast partners and close friends. Alongside its international partners and allies, and in solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine, Canada unequivocally condemns Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine. Russia’s action constitutes a brazen violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, and demonstrates a blatant disregard for international law.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that Canada will be imposing new sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations and the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations. These new measures will:
- Impose restrictions on members of the Russian State Duma who voted for the decision to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk;
- Impose a dealings ban on the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, which will effectively prohibit Canadians from engaging in specific transactions and activities in these regions;
- Place new prohibitions on direct and indirect dealings in Russian sovereign debt; and
- Impose sanctions on two significant Russian financial institutions in order to hinder Russia’s ability to further fund its aggressive actions.
The Prime Minister also announced that Canada will be sending additional military contributions to support North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the face of rising tensions in the region. These contributions, which fall under Operation REASSURANCE, will strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence efforts by increasing Canada’s land, maritime, and air capabilities in Europe. Specifically, Canada will provide:
- Up to an additional 460 personnel to the approximately 800 currently deployed in Europe in support of NATO, including:
- A battery of M777 artillery guns with forward observers and an electronic warfare troop to bolster the Canadian led enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia;
- A second frigate, with an embarked maritime helicopter, to participate in NATO’s Standing Naval Forces; and
- The re-tasking of a CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft already in the region, which will now operate in the Euro-Atlantic Area under NATO command and control.
In addition, approximately 3,400 Canadian Armed Forces personnel across all branches of the service are authorized to deploy to the NATO Response Force should they be required by NATO.
There is still time for Russia to choose de-escalation and diplomacy, but the window to do so is closing. These measures will apply further pressure on Russian leadership and extend greater support to our allies and partners. Canada will continue working with our allies and partners to impose additional hard-hitting economic measures that will inflict severe costs on Russia if it does not cease its unacceptable aggression against Ukraine. These actions demonstrate Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. The people of Ukraine have the right to decide their own future and live free and without fear.