Remarks concerning Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine
Hello, everyone. Thank you for being here.
I am here today with Deputy Prime Minister Freeland, and ministers Joly and Anand. We are here to talk about Russia’s unacceptable actions in Ukraine. Canada condemns President Putin’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
Canada strongly condemns President Putin’s recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as so-called independent states. This recognition is a violation of Russia’s obligations under international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
Canada also denounces Russian military actions, including orders to move into Ukraine, which is a clear incursion of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Make no mistake, this is a further invasion of a sovereign state, and it is completely unacceptable. President Putin’s speech yesterday was inaccurate and contained dangerous misinformation. Russia’s brazen provocations are a threat to security and peace in the world.
I’ve been in constant contact with President Zelensky and our partners and allies since this crisis began. Last Friday I had a call with President Biden, Prime Minister Johnson, President Macron, Chancellor Scholz, and other European leaders about the situation, and yesterday I spoke again with President von der Leyen of the European Commission. We are united and steadfast in our support of Ukraine and have made clear that Russian aggression will result in severe consequences.
So today, in coordination with allies and like-minded partners, Canada is announcing a first round of economic sanctions. We will ban Canadians from all financial dealings with the so-called independent states of Luhansk and Donetsk. We will sanction members of the Russian parliament who voted for the illegal decision to recognize these so-called republics. We will ban Canadians from engaging in purchases of Russian sovereign debt. And we will apply additional sanctions on two state-backed Russian banks and prevent any financial dealings with them.
These sanctions are a major step, and target those responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and they will remain in place until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored.
Today, in coordination with our allies and partners, Canada is announcing the imposition of a first round of economic sanctions. We will ban Canadians from conducting any financial transactions with the—so-called—independent states of Luhansk and Donetsk. We will impose sanctions on members of the Russian parliament who voted in favour of the illegal decision to recognize these regions. We will ban Canadians from taking part in purchases of Russian sovereign debt, and we will impose additional sanctions on state-backed Russian banks and ban any financial transactions with them.
These sanctions are a major step and target those who are responsible for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They will remain in place until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.
It is not too late for Russia to seek a diplomatic resolution and re-establish a pathway to peace, but it is also clear that Russian actions violate international law and threaten international peace and security.
So today, I am also authorizing a 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. We’re doing this to reinforce our commitment to NATO and promote peace and security in Europe.
We’re also stepping up our support for NATO. Canada has pledged significant additional medical, aircraft, naval, and land capabilities to the NATO response force. This is something that NATO requested from members and will bolster our support of partners and allies.
Minister Anand will provide more details in a moment.
To all members of the Canadian Armed Forces in Latvia, thank you for your incredible work. You continue to embody Canada’s strength and values in the region. I would also like to tell Canadians currently in Ukraine that your safety and security are a top priority.
To Canadians currently in Ukraine, your safety and security are a top priority. Consular services are available in Lviv, and you can reach out to Global Affairs’ Emergency Watch and Response Centre to get support. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and phone or messaging numbers are available online.
And to the Ukrainian Canadian community here at home, I know the situation is deeply concerning. Your community has made significant contributions to building Canada and we will stand with you every step of the way. Earlier today I spoke with the President of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress and reaffirmed Canada’s resolute and ongoing support of Ukraine.
Over the past few years and weeks, Canada has provided significant resources to help Ukraine defend itself. Since 2015, under Operation UNIFIER, members of the Canadian Armed Forces have trained over 30,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces. Last month, we extended and expanded this training mission, provided loans to the Ukrainian government of up to $620 million, and provided equipment, as well as ammunition and weapons that are now in the hands of the Ukrainian army. Canada will continue to be there to support Ukraine and its population.
Russia’s flagrant disregard for the independence of a sovereign nation is a serious threat to security and stability in the region and around the world. Canada and our allies will defend democracy, we are taking these actions today to stand against authoritarianism. The people of Ukraine, like all people, must be free to determine their own future. We will continue working with our international partners to safeguard Ukraine’s territorial integrity and prevent further Russian aggression.