Sep 30, 2022
By Bob Komsic
Canada announced today it is imposing new sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its “unprovoked and unjustifiable” invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions affect 43 Russian oligarchs, financial elites and their families and 35 Russia-backed senior officials in four occupied regions of Ukraine.
They also target a so-called governing body in Kherson, a Ukrainian port city that Russian President Vladimir Putin declared “independent” earlier today.
The United States and United Kingdom also announced new sanctions today in response to the attempted annexation.
The United States and its allies hit back at Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions on Friday, slapping sanctions on more than 1,000 people and companies including arms supply networks, as Moscow and the West escalated an already heated conflict fraught with potential nuclear implications.
U.S. officials said they would support any effort by Ukraine to retake the annexed territories by force, setting the stage for further hostilities. And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that his country would make an “accelerated” bid to join NATO, a plan not endorsed by the U.S. or other allies that could add fuel to the fire.
Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia is incorporating four Ukrainian cities and areas was not unexpected following referendums this week that the West had denounced as shams. And the U.S. and Western allies had previewed what their reaction would be.
But the developments dramatically increased tensions to a point not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago during the Cold War.
“Make no mistake: These actions have no legitimacy,” President Joe Biden said in a statement shortly after Putin’s vow to defend the newly annexed portions of Ukraine as if they were Russia’s sovereign territory. Biden had spoken out against the annexation plans last week at the U.N. General Assembly, where a vast majority of other members also voiced support for respecting the territorial integrity of all nations.
While the Biden administration has identified the sources of Russia’s weapons and battlefield high-tech as a priority, many of Friday’s other sanctions were in line with penalties already enacted on thousands of Russian individuals and companies, and may have comparatively little impact on the war effort. The administration hopes they will serve to further undermine support for Putin’s invasion among Russia’s elite.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and its European allies are rushing to complete agreement on a measure they hope will do more to damage Russia’s economy: a cap on Russia’s maritime oil exports that would undermine the prices Putin can demand for his country’s oil globally.
For now, Biden said the new U.S. financial penalties, similar to those coming from like-minded countries, will impose severe costs on people and companies “that provide political or economic support to illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.” The sanctions will apply to countries, people or firms that support or do business with Russia-backed authorities in the newly annexed areas.
(The Canadian Press, The Associated Press)