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Canada calls for Russian INTERPOL membership to be suspended amid Ukraine invasion

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Canada is calling for Russia’s membership in the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to be suspended, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

Trudeau’s announcement comes amid a flurry of sanctions Trudeau and his cabinet have placed on Russia as a consequence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, Canada and other close partners are calling to suspend Russia from INTERPOL,” Trudeau said.

“We’re supporting this because we believe that international law enforcement co-operation depends on a collective commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and mutual respect between INTERPOL members.”

Read more: Canada targets Russia and Belarus with tariffs, sends more lethal aid to Ukraine

INTERPOL is an international organization that helps to facilitate co-operation among law enforcement around the world. There are currently 195 member countries, which all have access to investigative support and expertise from the organization, including its 19 police databases with information on crimes and criminals — including names, fingerprints and stolen passports.

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Russia would lose access to all of these benefits, should the call from Canada and other “close partners” be heard.

Earlier Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced goods from Russia and Belarus would be subject to a 35 per cent tariff, and an additional suite of sanctions has brought the total number of Russians sanctioned by Canada since 2014 to more than 1,000.

Canada will also supply additional lethal aid to Ukraine, which includes up to 4,500 M72 rocket launchers and up to 7,500 hand grenades, National Defence Minister Anita Anand said.

Ottawa will also be providing Ukraine with $1 million towards the purchase of high-resolution modern satellite imagery. That’s on top of a commitment from earlier this week to send anti-tank weapons and upgraded ammunition to Ukrainian forces, and $7.8-million worth of lethal aid.

“Yesterday, I also spoke again with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. I applauded his leadership and the courage of Ukrainians,” Trudeau said on Thursday.

“I told him that Canada would continue to be there for them.”

As Canada and other countries roll out consequences for Russia, the country’s economy is feeling the pressure. The ruble plunged on Wednesday to a record low of 110 to the U.S. dollar in Moscow — a drop of 30 per cent in its value since the start of the year.

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The global economy is also feeling the effects of the conflict, including Canada, Trudeau acknowledged.

“The thing with sanctions and penalties in an interconnected world, is they end up hurting everyone. There will be Canadian costs to putting these sanctions on, in addition to the costs that will happen on the global economy as we see supply lines further disrupted,” Trudeau said.

There will be consequences and ripples throughout the world — but this is a moment for us to stand together. This is a moment for us to step up and defend our democracies.”

Ceasefire talks between Ukraine and Russia are ongoing.

— with files from Global News’ Aaron D’Andrea

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