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OTTAWA, July 24 Canada said on Thursday it will
impose sanctions on "a broad range" of Russian companies and
banks to punish Moscow for what it said was the illegal
occupation of Crimea and "provocative military activity" in
The companies include Novatek OAO, Russia's No. 2
natural gas producer, as well as Gazprombank OAO,
Russia's third largest bank by assets. The measures also target
state development bank Vnesheconombank GK and
small-arms producer Kalashnikov.
"These substantively new measures impose restrictions on the
issuance of new financing for the designated energy and
financial entities," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said
in a statement.
The United States last week imposed sanctions on the two
banks that Canada listed on Thursday and many of the same arms
manufacturers, which include firms such as Bazalt, Sozvezdie,
NPO Mashinostroyenia and KBP Instrument Design Bureau.
The European Union is considering sanctions against Russian
state-run banks, officials said on Thursday.
Harper said Canada wanted to further increase economic and
political pressure on the Russian government, which is headed by
President Vladimir Putin, and cited Russia's support for
separatists in eastern Ukraine.
"We are ready for further actions if the Putin regime's
military aggression continues," he said.
Canada has imposed sanctions on many dozens of Russian and
Ukrainian individuals and firms it deems to be responsible for
the political and military instability inside Ukraine.
But it has so far not sanctioned two key Putin allies who
have Canadian business interests.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli;
and Peter Galloway)