Canada will impose personal sanctions against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in response to his continued invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Friday afternoon and said Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, who is Putin’s chief of staff, will be sanctioned as well. It’s the third round of sanctions Canada has announced on Russia in recent days.
“These men bear the greatest responsibility for the death and destruction occurring in Ukraine,” he said.
Trudeau also said Canada is on board with removing Russia from the SWIFT transaction system, a major communication system for global financial transactions. Canada does not have the individual ability to remove Russia from the system.
“We have made it clear that all options are on the table when it comes to imposing steep costs on Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked invasion and that includes taking steps to exclude Russia from making financial transactions around the world,” said Trudeau. “Excluding Russian banks from SWIFT would make it even more difficult for President Putin to finance his brutalities.”
In addition to sanctions against Putin and Lavrov, Trudeau said Canada is also slapping additional sanctions on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and more than 55 other individuals “for abetting” Russia’s invasion.
“These will target 57 individuals and are in addition to the dozens of existing strong sanctions already levelled against Alexander Lukashenko’s regime for their repeated, systematic human rights violations and decades of oppression of their own people,” Trudeau explained.
Canada’s move to sanction Putin and Lavrov follow similar announcements United States, Britain and European Union, aimed at freezing the Russian leader’s assets and forcing him to stop the invasion. The U.S. sanctions will include a travel ban, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. New Zealand has already announced a similar travel ban.
Other nations, such as Japan, have announced plans to freeze visas and assets of Russian groups, banks and individuals. They have also suspended shipments of semiconductors and other restricted goods to Russian military-linked organizations.
“Japan must clearly show its position that we will never tolerate any attempt to change the status quo by force,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Friday.
Taiwan, a major producer of semiconductor chips, also announced plans to impose economic sanctions on Russia but did not specify what those would be.
With files from the Associated Press