By Paul Vieira
Canada on Monday said it was preparing a new round of sanctions against Russia in the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and had instructed officials to prepare penalties that target specific Russian industries.
Canada, among the harshest critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin over his country's military intervention in Ukraine, joined a number of western countries in denouncing Moscow's role in the Malaysia Airlines crash and taking measures to crank up pressure on the Kremlin to abandon expansion efforts in Ukraine.
European officials are set to meetTuesday and will discuss further sanctions to target parts of the Russian economy. Washington moved last week to slap restrictions on the Russian state-controlled oil giant OAO Rosneft and other top firms, in an effort to squeeze the Russian economy and financial system.
In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the new sanctions from Canada would target individuals and a "broad range" of entities. The statement didn't provide a list of the people or companies affected.
In London, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird told reporters Canada has also asked officials to craft another round of sanctions meant to target specific sectors of the Russian economy. He didn't say which parts of the Russian economy the Canadian government was eyeing.
Before Monday's announcement, the Canadian government has introduced sanctions against 110 individuals and entities that it says are responsible for violating Ukraine's sovereignty and independence.
Mr. Baird, who said he spoke to his peers from other western countries, said the Malaysia Airlines crash--which killed almost 300 people--was a "direct product" of Russia's military aggression in Ukraine, and that prompted Canada to accelerate the timing of the new round of sanctions. "The international community must now turn the screw on the pressure being applied on the Kremlin," Mr. Baird said.
He said evidence indicates the plane was brought down by rockets supplied by Moscow to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, but was quick to add there is nothing to suggest the Kremlin condoned the separatists' actions. "The Kremlin may not have pulled the trigger but it loaded the gun and put it in the murderer's hands."
Write to Paul Vieira at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 21, 2014 12:02 ET (16:02 GMT)
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