UCC Calls on Canada to Expand Russia Sanctions

    NP-UN National Affairs Desk.

    The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has called upon the Government of Canada to expand sanctions against Russia in the wake of the most recent round of U.S. sanctions.

    In a November 8 media release, the UCC noted that the US Department of the Treasury that same day announced new sanctions “in response to Russia’s continuing malign activity and destabilizing behavior.”

    “Since November 2016, Canada has taken no actions on sanctions against Russian entities, officials or individuals for Russia’s ongoing occupation of Crimea or Russia’s ongoing invasion of eastern Ukraine,” stated the UCC

    “It is of increasing concern to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress that Canada continues to fall behind our American allies in the breadth and scope of sanctions implemented against the Russian regime,” noted Ihor Michalchyshyn, UCC CEO. “The UCC calls on Canada to immediately mirror US sanctions that have been imposed on Russia since November, 2016. The response of the free world to Russia’s continuing aggression should be robust and coordinated.”

    “The United States is leveraging new authorities to target Russian actors for serious human rights abuses in parts of Ukraine that the United States government has determined are forcibly occupied or otherwise controlled by the Russian government, and other reprehensible acts in furtherance of the Kremlin’s malign agenda,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, November 8.

    “Treasury remains committed to targeting Russian-backed entities that seek to profit from Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea. Our sanctions are a clear reminder that efforts seeking to normalize investment and economic relationships with those operating in Crimea will not be tolerated and are subject to U.S. and EU sanctions authorities.”

    “Today’s designations underscore the United States’ steadfast partnership with Ukraine and the European Union (EU) and our unified opposition to Russia’s purported annexation and occupation of Crimea and use of force to control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. OFAC’s action targets those engaging in serious human rights abuses in furtherance of Russia’s occupation or control over parts of Ukraine, as well as entities and individuals supporting Russia’s attempts to integrate Crimea through private investment and major privatization projects. This activity includes, among others, the Russian-backed sale of Ukrainian assets unlawfully seized and nationalized to actors supporting the Kremlin’s agenda,” stated the release accompanying the U.S. announcement.

    As a result of the action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

    According to RFE/RL, The Treasury said it was now targeting three individuals and nine entities that are supporting Moscow’s attempt to “reintegrate” Crimea into Russia through private investment and privatization projects or are engaging in “serious human rights abuses in furtherance of Russia’s occupation or control over parts of Ukraine.”

    It identified the sanctioned individuals are Andriy Volodymyrovych Sushko, Aleksandr Basov, and Vladimir Nikolaevich Zaritsky.

    Sushko, an officer in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), is suspected of having participated in the 2017 abduction and torture of a Crimean Tatar activist who opposed Russia’s occupation of the region, according to the Treasury.

    Zaritsky is the former commander-in-chief of Russia’s missile and artillery forces who is leading a hotel project in Simferopol, it also said.

    The entities are the “Ministry of State Security of so-called Luhansk People’s Republic;” and companies Mriya Resort and Spa; Garant-SV; Infrastructure Projects Management; Sanatorium AY-Petri; Dyulber; Sanatorium Miskhor; KRIMTETS; and Southern Project.

    It described Mriya Resort and Spa as a luxury hotel that opened in the resort of Yalta shortly after the annexation and “the main Russian platform for showcasing investment opportunities in Crimea.”