Moldova is Canada’s latest sanctions target in bid to ‘undermine’ Russia ties

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As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, Canada has announced new sanctions targeting Moldovan oligarchs, business people and politicians due to their collaboration with Moscow.

Global Affairs Canada said in a statement Thursday that seven individuals and one political party in the former Soviet nation were being sanctioned in response to Russia’s “ongoing war of aggression” against Ukraine.

These are the first sanctions coming from Canada against Russian collaborators in Moldova, the government said.

This comes following a commitment made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a visit by Moldovan President Maia Sandu to Canada last month, the GAC statement added.

“As Russia threatens to leverage its presence on Moldovan territory to draw the country into the war of aggression against Ukraine, these new sanctions will undermine Russia’s efforts to restrain Moldova’s national government from exercising full sovereignty over its territory.”

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Among those being sanctioned are Moldovan politician Ilan Mironovich Shor and his populist Shor Party, which has worked to destabilize Moldova’s democratically-elected government in favour of Russia, GAC said.

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Since the start of the war in Ukraine last February, Canada has sanctioned more than 1,900 individuals and entities from and in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, according to the federal government.

In addition, Ottawa has also committed to more than $8 billion in financial, military, humanitarian, development and immigration assistance for Ukraine.

Moldova, like Ukraine, applied to join the EU last year shortly after the Russian invasion – now in its second year.

The Moldovan government has accused Russia of trying to destabilize the mainly Romanian-speaking country through its influence over the separatist movement in the Russian-backed, breakaway Transdniestria region of Moldova.

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“Canada will continue to work with its international partners to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable attacks of their sovereignty and to protect their citizens from the oppressive Russian regime,” Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement.

“We will always stand strong with the people of Ukraine and Moldova.’’

Joly is currently in Oslo, Norway, for an informal NATO meeting of foreign ministers to discuss further boosting support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.

— with files from Reuters

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