‘Everything on the table’: Joly says Canada will do more to ‘suffocate’ Russia

Click to play video: 'Beyond sanctions – what more can be done to punish Russia?'
Beyond sanctions – what more can be done to punish Russia?
WATCH: Beyond sanctions – what more can be done to punish Russia? – Feb 27, 2022

Canada is considering sending additional weapons to Ukraine and slapping Russia with more sanctions, in an effort to put “maximum pressure” on the Kremlin, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said.

Canada has joined the United States and other NATO allies in imposing a string of wide-ranging economic sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which is not a NATO member.

In an interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson on Sunday, Joly said Canada “will do more” to assist Ukraine, while working with other Western nations to impose pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who along with other senior government officials, has been sanctioned by Canada.

“Our goal … has been really to make sure that we are suffocating the Russian regime,” Joly said, adding that “everything is on the table”.

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“We’re looking at many options right now as we speak, but we know that time is of the essence,” she said.

Any further measures against Russia from Canada will be imposed in coordination with its allies so there is “a lot of impact at the same time”, Joly told Stephenson.

In an unprecedented move on Sunday, Canada along with a growing number of European nations shut their airspace to Russian operators due to the Moscow’s incursion.

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The U.S., European Union, Canada and United Kingdom decided on Saturday to impose restrictive measures on Russia’s central bank and exclude select banks from the SWIFT messaging network in an effort to cut Moscow off from the international financial system.

Amid weeks of warnings by the West based on its intelligence of an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine, Canada sent $7.8 million worth of lethal equipment and ammunition to Ukraine earlier this month.

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Ahead of the start of the invasion this week, the federal government announced on Tuesday it was also sending up to 460 Canadian Armed Forces members, an additional frigate and maritime patrol aircraft to Latvia and the surrounding region to bolster NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe.

Joly said so far, Canada has been successful in sending weapons to Ukraine through Poland and will need to do secure a passage for any form of delivery in the future.

On Thursday, Joly summoned Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine to directly express her condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine conflict: What is Putin’s endgame?'
Russia-Ukraine conflict: What is Putin’s endgame?

When asked on The West Block if Canada was prepared to the expel the Russian envoy, Joly said she did not want to cut off a diplomatic link.

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“To understand what’s going on in Russia, we need somebody, we need our ambassador, she said.

“And that’s why right now, I’ve been in close contact with our own ambassador because I think there is light at the end of the tunnel because I think Russians are really getting to understand that it is completely outrageous what Putin is doing right now.”

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