Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday sanctions against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over its invasion of Ukraine, and expressed support for barring Russia from SWIFT.
“We will be imposing sanctions on President Putin and his fellow architects of this barbaric war, his chief of staff and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,” Trudeau told a news conference.
“These men bear the greatest responsibility for the death and destruction occurring in Ukraine.”
Trudeau also expressed “Canada’s support to remove Russia from the SWIFT payment system, a critical part of the global banking system.”
And he said Belarus too would be sanctioned “for abetting President Putin’s invasion of a free and sovereign nation.”
The slapping of sanctions on Putin and Lavrov follows similar announcements by Britain, the European Union and the United States.
Canada had already imposed sanctions last year on Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko after he claimed an overwhelming victory in an August election the opposition said was rigged.
New sanctions targeting his inner circle, said Trudeau, would target 57 officials.
“The world has responded in an unprecedented, united and coordinated way to Vladimir Putin grave mistake,” Trudeau said.
“He has underrated estimated the resolve and the ability of Western democracies to stand up to defend not just our friends, but our values, our principles.”
“Putin has chosen to upend 75 years of peace (in Europe) by invading a peaceful, unprovocative neighbour and we are responding strongly and in a united way.”