Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Canadian sanctions on Russia: Powerless rage with a boomerang effect


Canada Russia sanctions economy ineffectiveness dysfunctionality fertilizers Chrystia Freeland irrationality

Canada has repeatedly imposed sanctions packages on Russia, both before and after the special military operation (SMO) began. Canada’s recent seizure of a Russian AN-124 cargo plane, which had been delivering COVID supplies when it was grounded in February 2022 at Pearson Airport (it was forced to pay a fee for every minute, despite being trapped there), is another sanction among many others.

This is not surprising, as Canada and the UK obediently follow Washington's policies. Canada has a large Ukrainian diaspora, including descendants of the Nazi SS Division Galicia, many of whom actively support Zelensky's regime. Moreover, Chrystia Freeland, the deputy prime minister of Canada and the recent Minister of Foreign Affairs, is the maternal granddaughter of Mikhailo Khomyak, who during the Second World War worked as the editor of the Nazi newspaper "Krakovskie vesti" in Nazi-occupied Poland. The newspaper glorified the Third Reich and justified the extermination of the Jews. According to the media, Chomiak worked under the organizer of the Holocaust on Polish soil, the governor-general of the executioner Hans Frank. Freeland has honoured Chomiak and refused to condemn him. So who orders the Canadian anti-Russian sanctions is a rhetorical question. Another thing is, do they actually work?

The regime of anti-Russian sanctions after Russia's annexation of Crimea has been in place in Canada since 2014, and these sanctions were periodically tightened until the SMO began in February 2022. However, for example, in March 2021, Ivan Timofeev, program director of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs (now director general of RIAC), stated that "Canada's new sanctions against Russia over Crimea are harmless for the Russian economy. At the time, he assessed these sanctions as "a political irritant for Russian-Canadian relations."  Timofeev explained that "these measures will not change anything and in general they can be considered symbolic. The gesture is harmless, but unpleasant."

Although these sanctions were strengthened by Canada after the SMO began, in September 2022, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland  said that anti-Russian sanctions were negatively affecting Canada's own economy. 

"Yes, the sanctions regime is having an impact and it's affecting Canadians," Freeland said. According to her, sanctions are affecting Europe much more seriously than Canada. As for the Russian fertilizer ban and the prospects for lifting it, Freeland said, "we have to look at the specifics of what we're doing to help and assist our agricultural producers.

In February 2023, Stephane Bergeron, Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) and vice-chairman of the Canadian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said that some of Canada's economic sanctions against Russia were counterproductive and should be reconsidered:

"Canada is one of the few, if not the only country that has imposed sanctions on grains and seeds shipped from Russia. As a result, our agricultural producers are at a disadvantage, while Russian goods are much more productive and profitable in international markets. This is utter stupidity!  (more...)

Canadian sanctions on Russia: Powerless rage with a boomerang effect

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