Canada wants to use confiscated Russian assets to help Ukraine

OTTAWA, – Canada continues to work to pass legislation that would allow it to redistribute confiscated Russian assets to compensate victims of the war in Ukraine.

This was transmitted by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly.

Reported AlJazeeraJoly said Wednesday (27/4/2022) that Canada would be the first industrialized country in the G7 to authorize the seizure of assets and offered allies to follow suit.

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“There is a weak link in our sanctions package, which is the government’s ability to sell the confiscated assets and use the proceeds to compensate the victims of this war against Ukraine,” he said.

Joly added that the proposed changes to Canada’s sanctions regime, which were first outlined in the budget implementation bill “would be a big help” in addressing the problem.

His comments came as Canada also announced it was imposing new sanctions on 203 people accused of taking part in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bid to annex territory in Ukraine’s Donbass region.

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Russian troops launched a new offensive in this part of the country this month, prompting Ukraine to ask its allies to send heavy weapons to help defend it.

Canada, the United States and other countries have pledged to send more weapons.

“Canada will not sit idly by and watch President Putin and his cronies attempt to redraw Ukraine’s borders with impunity,” Joly said.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Parliament began debating the size of the seized assets and voting on the proposed changes.

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The rules are expected to pass as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government has the support of leftist New Democrats (NDP).

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he supported the asset seizure plan.

“We agree with this approach,” Singh said in French, adding that the Trudeau government was not moving fast enough.

“But yes, we support this approach, that is what we are asking for, and we want to do the work to implement this bill as quickly as possible.”

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The changes Canada wants to make to its sanctions laws would mean that funds or property seized in Russia could be paid.

The costs will be used to help rebuild Ukraine or those affected by the Russian invasion.

Local media said the value of assets seized from wealthy Russians could reach tens of millions of dollars in Canada, but officials declined to confirm the exact figure.

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Robert Butler

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