Canada to ban Russian oil imports and send anti-tank weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, Trudeau says

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Canada is banning imports of Russian oil and will send a third shipment of lethal weapons to Ukraine as its military continues to battle better-armed Russian forces, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

“Yesterday we announced that we would be sending new shipments of military supplies, including body armor, helmets, gas masks and night vision goggles,” Trudeau said. “Today we are announcing that we will supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapon systems and improved ammunition.”

Trudeau said the Canadian Armed Forces will provide air support to transport supplies and aid and to participate in other NATO efforts in support of Ukraine.

Ukrainian government officials and members of its parliament have called on Canada and its allies to deliver more weapons – including rifles and anti-aircraft missiles – to prevent Russian forces from taking control of key cities.

Defense Minister Anita Anand said Canada would send 100 Carl-Gustaf anti-tank weapon systems and 2,000 rockets – ammunition for long guns – from Canadian Armed Forces inventory.

“We are coordinating with our NATO allies to ensure the safe passage of this aid and it would be imprudent of me to provide further details at this time for the safety and security of the Canadian Armed Forces and for the safe passage safely and the weapons and ammunition themselves,” she said.

Members of the 2nd Canadian Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment fire a Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle during ranged 800 live fire platoon attacks during the biennial exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, July 10, 2018. (Cmera/OS Justin Spinello fight)

Trudeau said Canada would also ban imports of Russian oil. Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said during Question Period in the House of Commons earlier Monday that Canada had not received a shipment of Russian crude oil since 2019.

“Today we are announcing our intention to ban all imports of crude oil from Russia, an industry that has greatly benefited President Putin and his oligarchs,” Trudeau said.

“This industry accounts for more than a third of Russia’s federal budget revenue and although Canada has imported very little in recent years, this move sends a strong message.

“Furthermore, it ensures that those who are complicit in President Putin’s atrocities cannot escape the consequences of their actions. This is why it has been announced that Russian oligarchs will not be able to use their wealth to buy citizenship in the Russian Federation. abroad and avoid the consequences of sanctions.”

After denouncing Russia at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva earlier on Monday, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said she would travel to Warsaw, Poland on Tuesday to “s’ ensure that the delivery is made”.

“My role is to make sure this aid gets into the arms of Ukrainian soldiers who are fighting for their lives and for their homeland,” Joly said. “That’s exactly why I was able to get a deal from Poland to make sure delivery could be across their borders.”

She praised the European Union on Sunday for agreeing to ship weapons and other aid to Ukraine’s military. Germany also reversed its longstanding stance on lethal military aid by announcing arms deliveries to Ukraine.

“So we are seeing a strong movement and I am happy that Canada was among the first countries to send lethal aid, because it is important that people can defend their lives, their families, their way of life and their homeland.” , Joly said.

Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Trudeau agreed to send Ukraine $7.8 million worth of lethal equipment, including handguns, machine guns, rifles and ammunition. Until then, Canada sent shipments of non-lethal supplies, such as mine detectors, medical kits and vests.

Defense Minister Anand tweeted photos of the second delivery on February 22. Footage shows a Royal Canadian Air Force plane on the tarmac in darkness, its cargo hold lined with black plastic-wrapped boxes. A Ukrainian flag is seen draped over one of the cases.

“This assistance was requested by Ukraine, coordinated with NATO allies and is in addition to the $10 million in lethal and non-lethal assistance we have provided this month,” Anand tweeted the week. last.

On Sunday, Joly announced an additional $25 million in non-lethal aid for Ukraine, including body armor, helmets, gas masks and night vision equipment. The government said it planned to work with Poland to deliver the equipment through NATO.

But Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko – who like many Ukrainians has said she has armed herself to defend her country – told Canadian media on Friday that Ukraine is fighting Europe’s largest army and cannot survive without more weapons from Canada and its allies. .

“Even if we worked and worked for decades, our army would not match Russia’s,” Vasylenko said. “So we need help waking up Monday morning to an independent and free Ukraine.”

Ukrainian MP Yegor Cherniev said that Ukraine is not only fighting for itself, but also for free countries in the West.

“We need your technical and military support… anti-aircraft, anti-missile weapon,” Cherniev said. “It’s one of our weaknesses.

“If Ukraine loses, the western world will lose. We are not just fighting for Ukraine. We are fighting for democracy and the values ​​of the western world.”

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Joly denounced Russia for lying about its invasion plans and called on the country to immediately halt its attack.

“Today, as millions of Ukrainians suffer the indignity of war, we too are faced with our own responsibility: to speak and to act, to demand, in the name of humanity, that Putin’s Russia end to this madness,” Joly said.

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