Canada wants to become the first G7 country to liquidate Russian assets to finance aid to Ukraine and on Wednesday announced new sanctions against 203 “accomplices” in the attempted annexation of Donbass.
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“We are striving for the possibility not only to confiscate the property of sanctioned persons and organizations, but also to authorize the confiscation and enable us to compensate (Ukrainian) victims afterwards,” said the Foreign Minister on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Melanie Joli.
Speaking to the press, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is looking at “avenues of further punishment” by confiscating property from those who have been sanctioned.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Canada has imposed sanctions on “more than 1,100 individuals and entities” accomplices of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Several of these sanctions were imposed in coordination with their allies.
“We are the first G7 country to offer this new power because we believe it will work,” the minister told journalists, adding that she had no “clear estimates” of the sums that would be raised by this new power mechanism could be collected .
Nevertheless, Mélanie Joly specified that “the assets of the Russian oligarchs in Canada are considerable”.
Alongside this new provision, which was introduced in parliament on Tuesday, Canada also announced new sanctions, this time against “11 high-ranking officials and 192 members of the people’s councils of the so-called Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics”.
“Canada will not stand by while President Putin and his accomplices try to redraw Ukraine’s borders with impunity,” added the head of Canadian diplomacy, again wanting “Ukraine to win.”
The sanctions against those 203 extra people are in addition to several other restrictions announced over the past two months. In particular, they provide for the imposition of a freeze on assets, a ban on transactions and the impossibility of entering Canada.
Last week, Ottawa followed in the footsteps of other Western countries by sanctioning President Putin’s two daughters and the wife and daughter of the chief of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov.
Canada also wants to reopen its embassy in Ukraine, which was closed on February 12 amid escalating tensions before Russia invaded Ukraine. The Canadian diplomats had traveled to Poland, where Ms. Joly says they are still staying today.