Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is imposing more severe sanctions on Russia in response to its military strike against Ukraine.
The new sanctions will target 58 people and entities connected to Russia, including members of that country’s elite and their families, the paramilitary organization known as the Wagner Group and major Russian banks.
The sanctions, announced Thursday after Trudeau attended a virtual G7 meeting, will also affect members of the Russian Security Council, including key cabinet ministers.
Canada is also cancelling existing export permits for Russia and will not issue new ones.
Trudeau also says the federal government will be prioritizing immigration applications for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada and is launching a dedicated telephone line for anyone who has any urgent questions about immigrating from Ukraine.
He says Canada has arranged for the safe passage of any Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families still in Ukraine through land borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
“Canada is unequivocal in our condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on the sovereign, democratic state of Ukraine,” said Trudeau. “President Putin’s brazen disregard for international law, democracy, and human life are a massive threat to security and peace around the world.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly summoned Russia’s ambassador to Canada for a dressing down after his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ambassador Oleg V. Stepanov met Joly at the headquarters of Global Affairs Canada on Thursday, where she condemned “in the strongest possible terms Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine,” the minister’s office told The Canadian Press.
Joly told Stepanov that Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
“Canada will use all tools at its disposal to make sure that those illegal acts are not left unpunished,” Joly’s office said in a statement.
Joly said she has also spoken with Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza.
“The team is safe and the embassy will offer consular services to Canadians from Lviv as long as possible,” Joly said on Twitter. “If you need consular help in Ukraine, please reach us at email@example.com.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article indicated 62 people and entities connected to Russia would face sanctions. That has been amended to reflect the latest information.