Canada lays new sanctions on Russia over North Korean weapons transfer

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Canada is imposing new sanctions against Russia over Moscow’s alleged use of North Korean missiles in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, now in its third year.

The fresh sanctions announced Tuesday target two individuals and six entities that “facilitated the illegal transportation of weapons, including ballistic missiles, from North Korea to Russia,” Global Affairs Canada said in a news release.

“There is recorded evidence that these weapons were used by the Kremlin to conduct its war of aggression against Ukraine in 2023 and 2024,” GAC said.

Among those being sanctioned are two senior representatives of Russian enterprises that have close ties with the Russian military and were allegedly involved in transporting North Korean weapons in the country.

Ottawa is also sanctioning six Russian shipping companies for facilitating arms transfers from North Korea to Russia.

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GAC said these measures aim to “undermine Russia’s ability to acquire North Korean weapons which are used to advance its military objectives” in Ukraine.

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U.S. intelligence officials believe that North Korea, in return for its arms support, wants Russia to provide it with aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armoured vehicles, ballistic missile production equipment and other advanced technologies.

“Our sanctions send a clear message: Canada condemns Russia’s military cooperation with North Korea, which has consequences for security in Europe, the Indo-Pacific and around the world,” Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement Tuesday.

“Canada remains unwavering in its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and its people in the face of the Kremlin’s brutal actions.”

In January, Canada and other countries condemned in a joint statement North Korea’s export of missiles to Russia’s forces for use against Ukraine, saying that the transfer of such weapons “increases the suffering of the Ukrainian people.”

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Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Canada and its western allies have imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Moscow.

In addition, since January 2022, Ottawa has also committed to more than $14 billion in funding for financial, military, humanitarian, development and immigration assistance for Ukraine, according to the federal government.

— with files from Global News’ Eric Stober and The Associated Press

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