Russian vodka, caviar and diamonds on new Canadian sanctions list
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Vladimir Putin's regime on Friday including a ban on importing Russian vodka, caviar and diamonds.
The ban on the import of certain luxury goods from Russia will tighten the net on the country's elite and covers alcoholic drinks, fish and seafood.
Canada is also banning the export of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks to Russia, as well as designer clothing, training shoes and sportswear.
The sanctions package, covering goods worth $75.7 million in 2021, includes a ban on the export of jewelry, art and even kitchenware from Canada to Russia.
Canada is also imposing a ban on products that could be used in the production and manufacture of weapons by Russia.
Joly also imposed sanctions on 14 more people, including oligarchs with links to the Russian president's regime and their family.
They include billionaire Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB agent who bought two major newspapers, the Evening Standard and Independent, in the United Kingdom. He also finances Novaya Gazeta, Russia's leading opposition newspaper.
Gleb Frank, owner of one of Russia's largest fishery companies, and son of Sergei Frank, former minister of transport and former CEO of Sovcomflot, Russia's largest shipping firm, is on the new sanctions list.
So is Gleb Frank's wife Ksenia Frank, the youngest daughter of oligarch Gennady Timchenko, an associate of Putin. She lives in Switzerland and attended Edinburgh University in the U.K.
Elena Timchenko, wife of Gennady Timchenko, is also on the latest sanctions roll.
David Davidovich, the "right-hand man" of oligarch Roman Abramovich, is also hit by sanctions. Abramovich is selling Chelsea, the British Premier League soccer club, after being caught in an earlier wave of sanctions.
The fresh tranche of financial penalties came as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland wrapped up a round of talks with G7 counterparts in Germany, as well as with Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
Freeland announced Canada is extending an additional $250-million loan to Ukraine, bringing Canada's total financial support for the war-torn country to $1.8 billion. The loan comes on top of military support and weaponry for Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters from Germany, Freeland said other G7 nations were interested in following Canada's lead in making legislative changes allowing the confiscation and sale of Russian assets to help rebuild Ukraine.
Current laws only allow the government to freeze assets and accounts of sanctioned individuals. But Canada's budget implementation bill sets out its intent to enact a law that would broaden the current sanctions regime to allow for the seizure of their assets.
Freeland said other G7 countries had lots of questions about "the seizure of Russian assets and using them to help pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine" and were interested in following Canada's lead.
She said Canada has an opportunity "to lead by example and show what can be done."
"There was a lot of interest in what Canada is doing," Freeland said.
Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,000 individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
"The Putin regime must, and will, answer for their unjustifiable acts," said Joly.
"Canada, together with our allies, will be relentless in our efforts to maintain pressure on the Russian regime, until it is no longer able to wage war. We are unwavering in our support for Ukraine and its people."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2022.
Joly has announced Canada is banning the export of targeted luxury goods to Russia, and is imposing a ban on the import of targeted luxury goods from Russia.— Rachel Aiello (@rachaiello) May 20, 2022
Imports banned: alcoholic beverages, seafood, fish and non-industrial diamonds.
Feds say together, these categories represented $75.7M worth of goods in 2021.