Canada has placed sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters, who are suspected to be hiding their father’s wealth, as well as 12 other Russian associates.
Global Affairs Canada said Tuesday it will also be sanctioning 14 “close associates of the Russian regime,” including Putin’s daughters Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova and other family members of Russian oligarchs.
The move comes after the U.S. sanctioned the daughters on April 6. A senior U.S. administration official told Reuters that they have reason to believe that Putin’s assets are hidden with family members.
“That’s why we’re targeting them,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Tikhonova is a tech executive whose work supports the Russian government and its defence industry, while the elder daughter Vorontsovais leads Kremlin-funded programs toward genetic research that are personally overseen by Putin, according to the U.S.’s sanctions package. Putin has described genetics in the past as a field that will “determine the future of the whole world.”
Putin’s daughters have never confirmed publicly that the Russian president is their father, and he has refused to answer questions about them.
A 2015 Reuters report says Tikhonova claims she is the son of Nikolai Shamalov, a longtime friend of Putin, and is the spouse of Kirill Shamalov, a senior shareholder in Bank Rossiya, which the U.S. has described as the personal bank of the Russian elite.
Shamalov and Tikhonova have corporate holdings worth around US$2 billion, according to Reuters, in addition to other property and assets. No asset or holding estimates were available for Vladimirovna.
“We continue to monitor the situation and coordinate actions to respond to Putin’s terrible, illegal invasion,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during an unrelated announcement in New Brunswick.
“This Russian regime and its associates need to continue to be held accountable for their actions.”
He said Canada will be providing heavy artillery to Ukraine, which was President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s most recent request, and that he had a call earlier on Tuesday with U.S. President Joe Biden and other global leaders on the situation.
Canada has placed more than 750 sanctions on individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus since the invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, according to Global Affairs. The sanctions aim to freeze and prohibit assets.
— with files from Reuters