Canada Halts Attempt to Export Banned Materials to Russia

Canada has halted an attempt to send materials to Russia in violation of the sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukrainean official said Tuesday.

Border officials in Montreal seized the shipment, described as “dual-use goods” prohibited from export to Russia under Canada’s sanctions regime.

The shipment was one of more than a dozen with “suspicious ties to Russian entities” that the Canada Border Services Agency said had given rise to action.

But it appears to be Canada’s first seizure of assets headed to Russia since sanctions were imposed earlier this year in response to the Ukraine war.

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CBSA spokeswoman Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr said the shipment was detected last month and seized for lacking proper export permits.

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“The agency can confirm that it has seized a prohibited shipment destined for Russia as a result of risk assessment and referral from CBSA counterproliferation officials,” it said.

“The shipment was detained and the CBSA consulted with Global Affairs Canada experts, who confirmed that the export of a component of the shipment was prohibited.”

The item was on Canada’s Restricted Products and Technologies List, which sets out materials prohibited for export to Russia.

Debris from an apartment destroyed after Russian shelling in a residential area of ​​Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

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The sanctions were put in place in response to Russia’s unprovoked war against neighboring Ukraine. The conflict is now approaching its sixth month.

“This CBSA seizure is positive and demonstrates that Canada’s sanctions against Russia are being enforced,” said Marcus Kolga, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

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But he said recent reports that Italian authorities had seized a shipment of US drones from Canada bound for Russia should be investigated.

Russia desperately needs drones and parts to repair Cold War-era weapons it pulled from storage to replace those lost in Ukraine, he said.

“Russia and some of its Western suppliers may be trying to circumvent sanctions and export bans to secure parts to repair weapons damaged by Ukrainian forces,” he added.

“Canadians should be reminded that Russia has a history of flouting international treaties and has violated international arms embargoes by shipping weapons to regions where they have been banned.”

A priest blesses the remains of three people who died during the Russian occupation of Bucha, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

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On Tuesday, the Canadian government added 43 military officers and 17 entities to its sanctions list, in part for being complicit in war crimes in Bucha.

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“We will not allow Vladimir Putin and his facilitators to act with impunity,” Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement.

The Russian embassy in Ottawa protested what it called “illegal and unjustifiable” sanctions in a post on its Twitter account.

The statement falsely claimed that the war crimes committed by Russian forces in Bucha were “false flag operations” organized by Ukraine.

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While Canada has sanctioned nearly 1,200 individuals and entities since the Russian invasion began on February 24, it has said little about enforcing these measures.

But the CBSA told Global News that its Counter Proliferation Operations Section was working with the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to “share information and targets.”

To help identify “exports of potential concern,” frontline officials in Canada and the US have access to each other’s information bulletins, the CBSA said.

“While sanctions have been imposed on Russia and Russian entities, transit countries and intermediaries can be used by proliferators,” Gadbois-St-Cyr said.

“CBSA and BIS are more vigilant in assessing the risk of exports to neighboring countries, transit countries and known Russian supporters.”

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“The CBSA can confirm that it has acted on (either intercepted, requested to be intercepted by partner governments, or seized) more than a dozen shipments due to suspected links to Russian entities since March 1, 2022.”

The RCMP said in June it had frozen $124 million in Russian assets and blocked $289 million in Russian assets.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca


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