Canada sanctions Russian oligarch as Trudeau leaves Europe
Abramovich is a major shareholder in Evraz, a British multinational manufacturing company that operates a steel mill in Regina.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau capped a weeklong European trip on Mar. 11 by slapping new sanctions on the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who has become an international poster boy for the largesse that enabled President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.
Abramovich is a major shareholder in Evraz, a British multinational manufacturing company that operates a steel mill in Regina. Britain also sanctioned Abramovich on Mar. 10, as pressure continued to grow on the Boris Johnson government to bring down the hammer on the owner of its famed Chelsea Football Club. Abramovich has aimed his super yacht into the Mediterranean Sea to avoid having his assets seized.
Abramovich is one of five new Russian oligarchs added to the Canadian sanctions list for their close ties with Putin as Trudeau ended a four-country European trip.
Their assets will be frozen, and restrictions placed on 32 military entities in Russia, Trudeau said in Warsaw before his planned departure on Mar. 11, as the Russian war on Ukraine appeared to be entering an ominous new phase. Airstrikes on cities in western Ukraine signalled an attempt by its forces to expand its attack beyond the country’s other regions further north and south.
Trudeau visited London, Berlin and Riga, Latvia, to meet with leaders on how to ramp up pressure on Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine. Their measures included sanctions, tightening the economic noose around the neck of Putin and his enablers, and sending new arms to Ukraine’s military and civilian fighters who have so far defied all odds in holding off the onslaught of Europe’s biggest military force.
However, Trudeau and his allies have not been able to give the Ukrainian leadership the one thing it wants to protect its civilian population that has been pummelled by Russian bombs for more than two weeks: a no-fly zone. Western politicians, NATO leaders and the Trudeau government all say that a no-fly zone would lead to all-out air war between them and the alliance.
Canadians may soon get to hear directly from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has agreed to address Parliament on Mar. 15.
Trudeau said the government would try to ensure that the sanctions against Abramovich don’t hurt the Canadian workers in the Saskatchewan company in which he holds a stake.
“The sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs like Abramovich are directed at them so that they cannot profit or benefit from economic activities in Canada or the hard work of Canadians working with companies that they have investments in,” Trudeau said.