April 20 (UPI) — Canada has sanctioned 14 people affiliated with the Kremlin, including the two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, adding Ottawa will also heed Kyiv’s call and arm it with heavy weapons as the near two-month-old war intensifies.
“Ukrainians have fought like heroes over the past number of months and they’re not just fighting for Ukraine, they are fighting for the values that underpin so many of our free, democratic societies, which is why the world needs to continue to step up, why Canada is continuing to stand with Ukraine, to stand against Russia but also ensure that this conflict doesn’t escalate elsewhere,” the prime minister said Tuesday during a press conference in the maritime province of New Brunswick.
Along with Putin’s daughters Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova, oligarchs Petr Olegovich Aven, Oleg Viktorovich Boyko, Mikhail Fridman and German Borisovich Khan were hit with the asset freezes along with several other billionaires and their family members.
Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, Canada has sanctioned more than 1,200 people and companies, including more than 750 of them since the Kremlin launched its latest invasion of its eastern European neighbor on Feb. 24.
Following the invasion more than 50 days ago, more than 2,100 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and nearly 3,000 more injured, according to United Nations data that shows another nearly 5 million have fled the country will millions more internally displaced.
Russia was met with condemnation from democratic nations over its invasion as well as tranches of punitive measures from sanctions to increased tariffs.
Though the economic tools have taken a bite out of Russia’s economy they have yet to deter the invasion with Russia now focusing its offensive on the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine that includes the battered port city of Mariupol, which the Kremlin has demanded Kyiv surrender.
In the past week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on allies to arm it with tanks and other heavy weaponry to fend off Russia’s attack, saying that if Ukraine falls Moldova, Poland, Romania and other Baltic nations would be next.
Trudeau on Tuesday told reporters said they would answer his call, but did not offer specifics on the value of weapons it would give Kyiv.
“Their most recent request from Canada is to help them with heavy artillery because that’s what the phase of the war is in right now and Canada will be sending heavy artillery to Ukraine with more details to come in the coming days,” he said. “But we will continue to stand with Ukraine.”
Canada has aided Ukraine with military assistance since the invasion began.
The announcement came after Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders concerning actions “allies must undertake to effectively support Ukraine,” according to a readout of the discussion from the prime minister’s office.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told reporters in Washington, D.C., about the call that the United States will continue to provide ammunition and other and military assistance to Ukraine.