Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau imposed the first wave of economic penalties on Russia on Tuesday, a day after Moscow recognized the rebel areas of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk as independent.
The United States, the European Union, Germany, and Britain have also outlined plans to financially penalize Russia in the event of another incursion, something Moscow has persistently denied for months.
After a pro-Moscow Ukrainian president was deposed in Kyiv, Russian-backed rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk declared themselves separate “people’s republics” in 2014.
Trudeau said his government will ban Canadians from all financial dealings with the so-called “independent states” of Luhansk and Donetsk. Canada will also ban Canadians from engaging in purchases of Russian sovereign debt, he added.
The Canadian prime minister said his government will sanction members of the Russian parliament who voted for the decision to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as independent.
Canada will apply additional sanctions on two state-backed Russian banks and prevent any financial dealings with them, Trudeau said.
Trudeau also said he was authorizing additional troops to the region.
“So today, I am also authorizing the deployment of up to 460 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to Operation Reassurance. This involves more troops to Latvia, as well as the deployment of an additional frigate and maritime patrol aircraft,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, saying they were there to “keep the peace.” Trudeau described the step as “a clear incursion of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”
“Make no mistake: this is a further invasion of a sovereign state and it is absolutely unacceptable,” he said, adding it was “not too late” for Russia to seek a diplomatic resolution.
Weeks of intense diplomacy have so far failed as Moscow calls for security guarantees, including a promise that its neighbor Ukraine will never join NATO.