Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with sanctions on Friday, following similar moves by other western nations in the aftermath of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Trudeau said this third set of actions against Russia this week would target Putin and his “fellow architects of this barbaric war.”
“We have not ever taken as a global community the step of sanctioning him personally, this is a significant step and it has its impact in the fact that we are all, as Western countries, united and aligned on this,” said Trudeau.
“This goes directly at President Putin’s considerable personal wealth.”
Canada will also levy additional sanctions on Belarus and its leaders for “abetting” Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Trudeau said at a news conference.
He also said Canada supports the removal of Russia from the SWIFT system for international bank payments. “Excluding Russian banks from SWIFT would make it even more difficult for President Putin to finance his brutalities.”
After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Russia unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east, and south on Thursday, in an attack that threatens to upend Europe’s post-Cold War order.
Earlier on Friday, the White House said the United States would impose sanctions on Putin and Lavrov, while EU states and Britain agreed to freeze their European assets.
Canada also announced sanctions against Russia on Thursday, targeting 62 individuals and entities, including members of the elite and major banks, and canceled all export permits following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.