Canada will supply anti-tank weapons and upgraded ammunition to Ukraine to aid in its fight against a Russian invasion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday, as well as a ban on Russian crude oil imports.
“Canada will continue to deliver support for Ukraine’s heroic defense against the Russian military,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. “We are announcing our intention to ban all imports of crude oil from Russia, an industry that has benefited President Putin and his oligarchs greatly.”
Canada has already given weaponry and non-lethal assistance to Ukraine, as well as supported a number of measures, including the suspension of Russia from the SWIFT system for international financial transfers.
“We are providing even more lethal aid to Ukraine, and we’ll be sending 100 Carl Gustaf anti-tank weapon systems and 2,000 rockets, which we will be working to deliver as quickly as possible,” Defence Minister Anita Anand said.
According to Statistics Canada, Canada purchased C$289 million ($228 million) in Russian energy goods in 2021.
Canada is the world’s fourth-largest producer of oil, but the great bulk is extracted in Alberta, far from the eastern Canadian refineries controlled by Irving Oil, Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N), and Cresta Fund Management.
According to David Schick, vice-president of the Canadian Fuels Association, eastern refiners import oil on the spot market when needed, as well as fuels to supply demand during maintenance shutdowns.
For the time being, the Russian oil ban only applies to crude oil, but the government is considering oil derivative goods, according to a government source.
According to Jim Mitchell, head of Americas Oil Analysts at Refinitiv, exports in 2021 will comprise naphtha and diesel to Valero’s Quebec refinery, as well as diesel and gasoline to a refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador presently controlled by Cresta Fund Management.
Cresta is reusing a decommissioned refinery in Newfoundland to create sustainable fuel.
According to a spokesman, Irving does not purchase Russian oil. According to a Suncor spokesperson, none of the company’s refineries use Russian oil. Valero and Cresta did not answer right away.
Canada also played a role in preventing Russia’s central bank from accessing its foreign reserves.
Trudeau stated that his administration has urged the independent Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to eliminate Russian state-owned broadcaster RT, stating that “it is critical that Canadians and people all over the globe are presented with factual information.” On Sunday, Canadian cable companies said that they will abandon RT voluntarily.
Earlier on Monday, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated that the G7 group of nations will impose more sanctions on Russia.