Canada announces first round of economic sanctions against Russia

In a statement Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the country’s first round of economic sanctions on Russia after Moscow recognised the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine as being independent.

In 2014, Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk broke away from Ukrainian government proclaimed themselves as independent “people’s republics”.

Trudeau said his government will ban Canadians from all financial dealings with the so-called “independent states” of Luhansk and Donetsk. Canada will also ban Canadians from engaging in purchases of Russian sovereign debt.

Furthermore, Canada will also sanction members of the Russian parliament who voted for the decision to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as independent, said Trudeau.

He went on to add, Canada will apply additional sanctions on two state-backed Russian banks and prevent any financial dealings with them.

Trudeau also authorized additional troops to the region.

“So today, I am also authorizing the deployment of up to 460 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to Operation Reassurance. This involves more troops to Latvia, as well as the deployment of an additional frigate and maritime patrol aircraft,” said Trudeau.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, saying they were there to “keep the peace.”

Trudeau described the move as “a clear incursion of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

“Make no mistake: this is a further invasion of a sovereign state and it is absolutely unacceptable,” said Trudeau while adding, it was “not too late” for Russia to seek a diplomatic resolution.

The increase in tensions comes after West did not agree to Russian demands for security guarantees, including a promise that its neighbour, Ukraine, will never be allowed to join NATO.

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