July 29, 2014 6:15 pm

US, EU, Canada adopt new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

WATCH: The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization met with airline industry representatives, who are calling on world leaders to help keep planes out of dangerous airspace. Mike Armstrong reports.

OTTAWA and BRUSSELS, Belgium – Canada’s federal government says it will impose new sanctions against Russia in coming days over Moscow’s support of rebel groups in Ukraine, as the U.S. and the EU also built on previous sanctions, focusing on energy, arms and financial industries.

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In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s failure to cease backing armed rebels in eastern Ukraine constitutes a genuine threat to international peace and security.

Last week, Canada announced strengthened sanctions on arms manufacturers and energy and financial entities with significant links to the Russian government. The statement says the new sanctions would be applied against the Russian government and those closest to it.

The bid to step up political pressure on Moscow was co-ordinated with partners in the United States and Europe as U.S. President Barack Obama announced expanded sanctions.

Frustrated by the apparent ineffectiveness of previous sanctions and outraged by the deaths of 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over eastern Ukraine, the European Union adopted tough new economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, EU officials and diplomats said.

The measures included an arms embargo, and a ban on the sale of dual use and sensitive technologies, such as advanced energy technology equipment relevant for deep sea and Arctic drilling. Such equipment will now be subject to prior approval by competent national authorities, an EU official said.

READ MORE: EU sanctions will weaken fight against international terrorism, says Russia

Under the financial sanctions, Russian state-owned banks will be banned from selling bonds or equities with a maturity of over 90 days in European capital markets, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make public statements.

The ambassadors also added eight names to the list of people subject to EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans, including four people close to Putin, the EU official said. They also put three more entities on the list of companies and organizations subject to EU sanctions because of their alleged actions against Ukraine’s sovereignty or territorial integrity, that official said.

Europe, which has a much bigger trade relationship with Russia than the U.S., had lagged behind Washington in its earlier punitive measures, in part out of concern from leaders that the penalties could hurt their own economies. But on Monday, in a rare videoconference call with Obama, the leaders of Britain, Germany, Italy and France expressed their willingness to adopt new sanctions against Russia in co-ordination with the U.S., an official French statement said.

Until now, the trade bloc has only targeted specific individuals, businesses or rebel groups.

READ MORE: Russia firing artillery at Ukraine troops, U.S. says

The Western nations are demanding Russia halt the alleged supply of arms to Ukrainian separatists and other actions that destabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine.

WATCH: U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new round of sanctions Monday aimed at pressuring the Russian government to take more action to reign-in pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine

The EU measures were decided at a meeting of ambassadors from the bloc’s 28 member countries. They will be codified in legal language and published Thursday, when they will take immediate effect. The new names to be added to the travel ban and assets freeze list should be known Wednesday.

“The approach will be under constant review and can be adjusted in light of new developments. Normally sanctions are in place for one year,” the EU official said.

With files from The Canadian Press

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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