Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Thursday to stand “steadfast” with allied countries and he introduced another 160 sanctions against individual members of the Russian Federation Council.
It brings the total number of “catastrophic sanctions” applied by Canada to 964 since the war began, said the prime minister.
Trudeau made the announcement in Brussels where he was to address the European Parliament, a NATO summit and attended a G7 meeting. In all three gatherings, member countries discussed how to put an end to the Russian military operation in Ukraine as the war enters its second month with no end in sight.
“We need to make sure Ukraine has lethal and non-lethal aid,” Trude
au told the assembled leaders. But whether the weapons will include those on Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s list is still up in the air.
He said Canada will impose an export ban on technologies that could be used by Russia in the war.
Before Trudeau spoke, Zelenskyy virtually delivered yet another impassioned plea for help in the battle against Russia, including his repeated request for establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine to protect the Ukrainians from Russian bombs.
Trudeau told Zelenskyy in a telephone call last week that a NATO-enforced no-fly zone was not in the cards because he feared it would cause an escalation in hostilities with Russian forces and draw other countries into the war. Trudeau’s refusal, which he called “heartbreaking,” was backed by NATO’s secretary general.
Zelenskyy said allies have not done enough to help Ukraine as hundreds have been killed and about 10 million Ukrainians displaced due to the Russian aggression. As well as the no-fly zone, he wants more weapons and airplanes from NATO.
“Ukraine is very much waiting, awaiting real action, real security guarantees, from those whose word is trustworthy, and whose actions can keep the peace,” Zelenskyy said in remarks on his official website. He said it is a “life or death” matter and called for airplanes and tanks.
Trudeau called out Russian President Vladimir Putin for committing “war crimes” in Ukraine. The prime minister also said Putin made two crucial mistakes in forcing war onto Ukraine – that NATO countries would be divided in their response and he underestimated the valor of the Ukrainian resistance.
“NATO remains united and it will remain so,” he said, adding that the “Ukraine military is standing strong.”
Russia began its war Feb. 24. It has been met with international outrage, with the EU, US, and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
At least 1,035 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 1,650 injured, according to UN estimates, while cautioning that the true figure is likely far higher.
More than 3.6 million Ukrainians have also fled to neighboring countries, with millions more displaced inside the country, according to the UN refugee agency.