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Canada targets Russia’s energy sector in latest sanctions over Ukraine war

Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine conflict: Canada will impose more measures on Russia in coming days' Russia-Ukraine conflict: Canada will impose more measures on Russia in coming days
WATCH: Russia-Ukraine conflict — Canada will impose more measures on Russia in coming days – Mar 1, 2022

Canada is going after Russia‘s energy sector, as it imposed additional economic measures Wednesday against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, Global Affairs Canada said that the federal government was imposing restrictions on 10 key individuals from two important companies in Russia’s energy sector, Rosneft and Gazprom.

“These measures are intended to put further pressure on Russia’s leadership to cease its violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” GAC said.

“The sanctions are expected to be in effect in the coming days through orders made,” the statement added.

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

The new measures announced Wednesday add to a string of wide-ranging sanctions imposed by Canada and its Western allies against the Kremlin since its troops rolled into neighbouring Ukraine a week ago.

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On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland had warned that additional economic measures against Russia were coming.

The deputy prime minister and finance minister had also said that the federal government was examining the holdings of all Russian oligarchs and companies inside Canada, adding that “everything is on the table.”

Western backlash against Russia has grown in recent days with countries slapping Moscow with sanctions that have targeted Russian banks and individuals, including President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, demanding Moscow cease fighting and withdraw its troops.

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On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that all Canadian financial institutions were barred from doing any transactions with Russia‘s central bank — a key target for Western sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for invading Ukraine.

A number of Russian banks were cut off from SWIFT over the weekend following an agreement among European and North American allies, marking a significant blow to Putin’s regime. The system facilitates global financial transactions.

Read more: Russian billionaires moving superyachts to Maldives as sanctions tighten

The Western sanctions are hitting the Russian economy hard, with the ruble plunging on Wednesday to a record low of 110 to the U.S. dollar in Moscow.

The global economy is also feeling the effects of the conflict – that started on Feb. 24 – as energy prices have surged and stocks have tumbled amid the Russian invasion.

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Speaking at press conference on Tuesday, Freeland said there could be some “collateral damage in Canada” as a result of the sanctions on Russia, and that is something Ottawa and other G7 countries have discussed.

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“We are going to have to be prepared for there to be some adverse consequences for our own economies,” she said.

In addition to the economic sanctions, Canada and its Western allies have also sent humanitarian aid and military weapons — both lethal and non-lethal — to assist Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

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