Canada Sanctions Russia Over Ukraine ‘Invasion,’ Pledges More Troops to Europe

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OTTAWA—Canada is deploying hundreds more troops to eastern Europe and imposing new sanctions on Russia in response to President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send forces into two regions of eastern Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.

“We are looking for Russia to stand down, to cease its violations of Ukrainian sovereignty, Ukrainian territorial integrity, to return to negotiation tables,” Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa.

Putin’s move to send in troops to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions came hours after he signed a decree recognizing those areas as independent, and said Russian troops were being deployed as “peacekeepers.”

Donetsk and Luhansk have been embroiled in fighting for the past eight years after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and started providing support to pro-Russian separatists in the two eastern regions. An estimated 14,000 people have died in that conflict.

Trudeau condemned Putin’s actions as he appeared alongside Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, and Defence Minister Anita Anand.

“Make no mistake: this is a further invasion of a sovereign state and it is absolutely unacceptable,” he said, adding: “Russia’s brazen provocations are a threat to security and peace in the world.”

Trudeau said up to 460 more members of the Canadian Armed Forces are being sent to Latvia and the surrounding region to bolster NATO in response to what he described as a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The new troops are being deployed alongside an additional naval frigate and Aurora surveillance aircraft, and are on top of the 540 Armed Forces members already deployed to Latvia where they are leading a NATO battlegroup.

The prime minister also said Canada is taking steps alongside its allies to isolate Russia financially by imposing economic sanctions against a number of Russian parliamentarians, business leaders, and companies, including banks and defence firms.

Canada is also banning the purchase of Russian sovereign debt and any financial dealings with Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Canadian Press

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