15 March, 2019. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) applauds today’s announcement by Canada’s Department of Global Affairs that 114 individuals and 15 entities have been sanctioned in response to Russia’s aggression in the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait, the illegal annexation of Crimea, and the war that Russia has been waging against Ukraine for over 5 years.
In November 2018, Russian naval forces seized three Ukrainian ships and took 24 Ukrainian sailors prisoner. The sailors have been in captivity for over 100 days. In addition, over 70 other Ukrainian citizens remain illegally imprisoned in Russia. We welcome sanctions in response to these premeditated and deliberate acts of aggression against Ukraine by Russia.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, stated: “Canada and its allies are unwavering in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait and its illegal invasion and ongoing occupation of Crimea will not go unchecked. Alongside our international partners, we call on Russia to immediately release the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and return the seized vessels. Russia must allow free and unhindered passage through the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov. Today’s sanctions demonstrate that Canada and the international community are ready to impose costs on Russia when it ignores international law and the rules-based international order.”
“Russia’s continuing aggression against Ukraine, and the illegal imprisonment by Russia of Ukrainian political prisoners are an affront to the values of peace, democracy and human rights that we as Canadians hold dear,” stated Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the UCC. “We welcome today’s announcement, and the leadership that Canada has shown in support of Ukraine. The international community must continue to unequivocally oppose and condemn Russia’s deplorable actions, which threaten not only Ukraine’s sovereignty, but the peace and liberty of the European continent.”
Ihor Michalchyshyn CEO of the UCC stated: “I applaud today’s announcement by the Government of Canada. Crimea was, is and always will be sovereign Ukrainian territory. Russia’s invasion and ongoing illegal occupation has brought terror and fear to the people of Crimea and Ukraine. Russia must face consequences of its aggression in the Kerch Strait. It is crucial that Canada and our allies maintain pressure on Russia until the occupation of Crimea is reversed, and until Russia stops its war of aggression in eastern Ukraine and releases all Ukrainian political prisoners.”
The last sanctions by Canada dealing with Russian’s illegal annexation of Crimea were announced in November of 2016.
The full release from the Government of Canada is available here: