Canada to punish ‘close associates’ of Russia, Belarus with new sanctions

Click to play video: 'Canada weighs more sanctions against Russia in response to “shocking” actions in Bucha'
Canada weighs more sanctions against Russia in response to “shocking” actions in Bucha
WATCH: Canada weighs more sanctions against Russia in response to "shocking" actions in Bucha – Apr 4, 2022

Canada is taking aim at “close associates” of the Russian and Belarusian governments with new sanctions amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The upcoming penalties will be imposed on nine Russians and nine Belarusians for “having facilitated and enabled violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,” the government said on Monday.

“These individuals are close associates of the Russian and Belarusian regimes,” the government said in a news release.

“Adding to several actions taken by Canada to support Ukraine and its people, these measures demonstrate that Canada will not relent in holding (Russian President) Vladimir Putin and his enablers accountable for their egregious and illegal actions.”

Story continues below advertisement

The identities of those sanctioned were not immediately made available.

Since Putin ordered his troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, Canada and its allies have imposed several crippling sanctions on Russia and its allies to deter it from further escalating the war.

Ottawa’s latest round of sanctions comes as world leaders lash out at Russia amid the discovery of what appear to be civilian bodies in the suburbs of Kyiv, specifically Bucha.

Click to play video: 'Worldwide condemnation over execution of civilians in Ukraine'
Worldwide condemnation over execution of civilians in Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities allege Russia committed war crimes during its occupation of the town, which was liberated late last week after Moscow’s forces departed the city.

“The horrors that we’ve seen in Bucha are just the tip of the iceberg of all the crimes (that) have been committed by the Russian army,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

“Half measures are not enough anymore. I demand most severe sanctions this week. This is the plea of the victims of the rapes and killings. If you have doubts about sanctions, go to Bucha first.”

A person inspects the massive destruction in Bucha after it was liberated from the Russian army in Ukraine on April 4. Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The government cited the Bucha development in its sanctions announcement on Monday, calling the discoveries “abhorrent.”

“Canada will not stand by as the senseless murder of innocent civilians by Russian forces in Ukraine continues. We will not spare any effort to ensure that violations of international law in Ukraine are investigated and that perpetrators are held to account,” the government said.

Click to play video: 'Putin should face war crimes trial over Bucha massacre, Biden says'
Putin should face war crimes trial over Bucha massacre, Biden says

“Canada continues to work with its international partners to uphold the rules-based international order and push for a full investigation, into the reports of war crimes in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine, including by the International Criminal Court.”

Story continues below advertisement

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a “special operation” to diminish its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and rid it of people it has called dangerous nationalists.

Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed serious sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described Russia’s campaign as “genocide,” a term he has used at different times during the war, saying Putin was intent on eliminating the nation and its people.

“We are the citizens of Ukraine and we don’t want to be subdued. … This is the reason we are being destroyed,” he told the CBS program Face the Nation on the weekend.

— with files From The Associated Press and Reuters.

Sponsored content