Canada takes aim at Russia arms, financial and energy sectors

Canada takes aim at Russia arms, financial and energy sectors

Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:31 pm

OTTAWA – Canada revealed on Thursday details of previously announced sanctions targeting Russia’s arms, financial and energy sectors, over the downing of Flight MH17.Malaysian_Airliner

“The measures we are announcing today include sanctions against a broad range of entities from Russia’s arms industry, as well as from its financial and energy sectors,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

“Our unequivocal aim is to further increase economic and political pressure on the Putin regime,” he said.

The list includes 10 Russian companies, including Gazprombank, Kalashnikov Concern, and Vnesheconombank.

Armed Ukrainian separatist groups — The Donetsk People’s Republic and The Luhansk People’s Republic — as well as their leaders were also targeted by the latest round of sanctions.

“These groups, with direct support from Russia, have engaged in egregious acts against the armed forces of Ukraine, international monitors deployed to the area, and the civilian population,” Harper said.

The Malaysia Airlines plane was blown out of the sky last Thursday by what is believed to be a surface-to-air missile, killing 298 passengers and crew and dramatically raising the stakes in Ukraine’s bloody three-month conflict.

Kiev has blamed the rebels, citing photographs of anti-aircraft missile systems being moved from rebel-held territory into Russia less than 12 hours after the crash, and an intercepted call between an insurgent commander and a Russian intelligence officer.

On Monday, Harper called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops from the border with Ukraine, stop a flow of weapons and militants into the country, urge separatist rebels to lay down their arms and allow investigators unfettered access to the crash site.

He said the “outrageous and criminal act of shooting down a civilian airliner… was a direct product of Russia’s military aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine.”

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