OTTAWA, Canada – Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine. These additional unprovoked actions are another clear and further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. They are also in violation of Russia’s obligations under international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
Canada has already taken a series of measures, in close coordination with our allies and international partners, to respond to Russia’s reckless and dangerous acts, and following last night’s attack on Ukraine, Canada will take additional action to stop Russia’s unwarranted aggression.
The prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced that Canada will be imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations and the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations.
These new actions, which build on the measures announced on February 22, include:
- Imposing restrictions on 58 additional Russian individuals and entities, including banks, financial elites and their families;
- Sanctioning members of the Russian Security Council, including the defence minister, the finance minister, and the justice minister;
- Imposing restrictions on four Ukrainian individuals for their collaboration with Russia to destabilize Ukraine; and
- Restricting exports to Russia by halting new export permit applications and cancelling valid export permits, with a limited number of exceptions for critical medical supply chains.
The prime minister also announced that Canada will take additional and immediate measures to support Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine, and to make it easier and faster for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and their accompanying immediate family members to return to Canada.
These new measures include:
- Establishing a dedicated service channel for Ukraine enquiries on immigration. This will be available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. In addition, clients can now add the keyword “Ukraine2022” in their email enquiry, which will prioritize their email;
- Urgent processing of travel documents, including issuing single-journey travel documents for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not have valid passports;
- Ensuring that Ukrainians currently in Canada are able to extend their stay or work longer in Canada by prioritizing the renewal of work and study permits;
- Issuing open work permits to Ukrainian visitors, workers, and students who are currently in Canada and cannot go home; and
- Waiving fees for travel and immigration documents, such as for Canadian passports, permanent resident travel documents, proofs of citizenship, visitor visas and work and study permits.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has already implemented measures to priority-process applications for travel documents for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members, and grant applications for adoption, and permanent and temporary residence applications for people with a primary residence in Ukraine who want to reunite or travel with family, study, work or start a new life in Canada. More immigration measures will be announced in the near future.
Russia’s actions are being met with severe consequences. Earlier this week, Canada unequivocally condemned Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine and in response announced it will:
- Impose new sanctions against Russia, including new prohibitions on direct and indirect dealings in Russian sovereign debt;
- Send additional military contributions to support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) through Operation REASSURANCE, including up to an additional 460 personnel to the approximately 800 currently deployed in Europe in support of NATO; and
- Authorize approximately 3,400 Canadian Armed Forces personnel across all branches of the service to deploy to the NATO Response Force should they be required by NATO.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine is also an attack on democracy, on international law, on human rights, and on freedom. It threatens peace and order in Europe and around the world. These unwarranted actions will not go unpunished. We continue to stand with Ukraine, its people, and the Ukrainian Canadian community here in Canada.