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Russia Ukraine conflict

Canada sanctions Belarus over Russia attacks on Ukraine from its soil

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Canada on Thursday unveiled fresh sanctions against 22 Belarus defense department officials for allowing Russia to launch attacks on Ukraine from its territory.

The announcement, Canada’s foreign ministry said in a statement, “sends a clear message to President [Vladimir] Putin’s accomplices: those who support violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence will be held accountable.”

Ottawa accused the senior Belarus officials - including the head of its air force, Victor Soyko - of supporting Russia’s attack on Ukraine and “allowing their country to serve as a launchpad for the Russian invasion.”

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Canada had already imposed sanctions in 2020 on Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko after he claimed an overwhelming victory in an August election the opposition said was rigged, as well as more recently on members of Lukashenko’s inner circle.

This latest round brings the number of individuals and entities in Russia, Moscow-ally Belarus and Ukraine sanctioned by Canada to more than 500 since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

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