Canada pledges more tanks to Ukraine, imposes new Russia sanctions
By Ismail Shakil and Steve Scherer
OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada is sending four more Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine and is imposing new Russia-related sanctions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, marking the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Friday.
The delivery would bring to eight the total number of Leopard 2 tanks Canada has pledged to Ukraine. Canada will also provide an armored recovery vehicle and over 5,000 rounds of 155 mm ammunition to help Ukraine in its defense against Russia.
The new sanctions target 129 individuals and 63 entities including Russian deputy prime ministers and other officials, Trudeau told reporters in Toronto.
Russian President "Vladimir Putin made a grave miscalculation when he launched his war of aggression," Trudeau said. "He underestimated Ukrainians, and he underestimated the solidarity of their friends around the world... but today, we are stronger and more unified than ever."
Ottawa is also prohibiting the export to Russia of "certain chemical elements for use in electronics" and banning the import, purchase, or acquisition of Russian arms and other weapons.
Canada joined other G7 members who unveiled similar measures. Since the start of the war a year ago, Canada has provided more than C$5 billion ($3.67 billion) in support to Ukraine, Trudeau said. Canada has also trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in recent years.
Washington announced a new $2 billion package of military aid for Ukraine, and a raft of additional sanctions and tariffs hitting Russia's mining and metals industries, as well as companies from third countries accused of supplying Moscow with restricted goods.
Russia's ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov said the sanctions by Canada and the West were "meaningless," TASS news agency reported.
"Our citizens who are on the list look at such measures with a smile," Stepanov was quoted as saying. "This is a sign of the helplessness of the anti-Russian camp, which hates Russia, but understands that we cannot be defeated."
Earlier on Friday, Canada announced more than C$32 million ($23.5 million) in support, including funds for demining projects and to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.
($1 = 1.3612 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Ismail Shakil and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Grant McCool)