Canada and its allies promise new sanctions on Russia for recognizing breakaway regions of Ukraine – National

Canada, the United States and other NATO allies pledge new economic sanctions against Russia after President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and ordered troops Russians to “keep the peace” there.

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Monday evening at the request of Ukraine, the United States and six other countries.

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Putin recognizes independence of separatist regions of Ukraine

Ahead of the meeting, Western countries denounced Putin’s announcement and said they were preparing sanctions separate from those promised if the Russian army invades Ukraine.

“Canada, together with its partners and allies, will react strongly to this blatant disregard for international law,” Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed Joly in his own statementadding that Canada “rejects and condemns the Russian decrees ordering the entry of military forces into Ukraine”.

Joly said he discussed coordinated sanctions with his European Union counterpart, Josep Borrell Fontelles. She also discussed Canada’s response with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also promised sanctions during a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which are expected to be announced and imposed on Tuesday.

“The Prime Minister has told President Zelenskiy that he believes an invasion is a real possibility in the hours and days ahead,” Johnson’s office said in a statement following a call between the leaders. .

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Putin’s recognition of Ukraine’s breakaway regions is a ‘clear breach of international law’: Boris Johnson


Putin’s recognition of Ukraine’s breakaway regions is a ‘clear breach of international law’: Boris Johnson

US President Joe Biden has issued an executive order that will ban economic activity between American individuals and the two breakaway regions recognized by Putin, Donetsk and Luhansk.

The order “will also provide the authority to impose sanctions on anyone determined to operate in these areas of Ukraine,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Additional sanctions are also expected to be announced on Tuesday, the White House said.

Putin justified his decision in a pre-recorded speech blaming NATO for the current crisis and calling the US-led alliance an existential threat to Russia. Scanning over a century of history, he painted today’s Ukraine as a modern construction inextricably linked to Russia. He accused Ukraine of inheriting historical lands from Russia and, after the Soviet collapse, of being used by the West to contain Russia.

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“I consider it necessary to take a long-awaited decision: to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic,” Putin said.


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Putin continues to raise concerns over Ukraine’s NATO membership as talks on a possible summit continue


Putin continues to raise concerns over Ukraine’s NATO membership as talks on a possible summit continue

He later signed decrees recognizing the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, eight years after fighting broke out between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces, and called on lawmakers to approve measures paving the way for military support.

The so-called friendship treaties signed with the regions’ leaders give Russia the right to build bases in the breakaway regions and, on paper, they can do the same in Russia, Reuters reported.

The parties pledged to defend each other and signed separate agreements on military cooperation and recognition of each other’s borders. The treaties also indicate that Russia and smaller dissident states will strive to integrate their economies.

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After chairing a Security Council meeting on Monday evening, Zelenskiy accused Russia of violating Ukraine’s sovereign territory and said that could mean Moscow would end Minsk peace talks aimed at ending the separatist conflict. in eastern Ukraine.

Zelenskiy said Ukraine wanted to resolve the crisis through diplomacy but his country was ready for a long-term commitment.

“We are committed to the peaceful and diplomatic path, we will follow it and only it,” Zelenskiy said. “But we are on our own land, we are not afraid of anything or anyone, we owe nothing to anyone and we will not give anything to anyone.”

UN members criticize Russia’s decision

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement that he was “very concerned” about Russia’s actions, which he considers a violation of the UN Charter. He has canceled a trip to Africa and is expected to return to New York on Tuesday, a spokesperson said.

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Ukraine’s UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya said in a letter to his Russian counterpart that Kyiv was calling for an urgent meeting on Monday night because Putin’s actions violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and multiple UN resolutions, including the Charter.

It is almost certain that the Security Council will not take any action or issue any statement because Russia has a veto.


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Russia backs Ukraine summit, but needs to understand possible outcomes: Lavrov


Russia backs Ukraine summit, but needs to understand possible outcomes: Lavrov

Members at Monday’s meeting still urged the council to send a message as one by one they condemned Russia’s recent actions.

Deputy General Secretary Rosemary DiCarlo said “the risk of major conflict is real and must be avoided at all costs”.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitors recorded 3,231 ceasefire violations in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine from Friday to Sunday, she said. declared.

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Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the United Nations, said Russia’s claims that troops sent to Donetsk and Luhansk were “peacekeeping” forces were “absurd”.

“President Putin tore the Minsk agreement to shreds. We’ve been clear that we don’t think it will stop there,” she said.

The 2015 peace accord signed in Minsk requires Ukrainian authorities to offer broad autonomy to rebel regions, a major diplomatic blow for Moscow.

This agreement was resented by many Ukrainians who saw it as a surrender, a blow to the integrity of the country and a betrayal of national interests. Putin and other officials argued on Monday that Ukrainian authorities had shown no appetite for its implementation.

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More than 14,000 people have been killed since conflict erupted in the eastern industrial heartland in 2014, shortly after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Putin has continued to deny plans to invade Ukraine, despite the gathering of more than 150,000 Russian troops at the border and increasing reports from Western intelligence suggesting an invasion is imminent.

Efforts by Western leaders, including Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, to find a diplomatic solution with Putin have yielded little apparent results. Russia has called for NATO concessions that the allies say are not on the cards, including the withdrawal of its forces from Eastern Europe.

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A last-minute bid for a summit between Biden and Putin appeared to fall apart after Monday’s announcement.

–With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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