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Canada to raise tariffs on Russian imports, send rocket launchers to Ukraine -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Canada’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister Finance Chrystia Freiland addresses a press conference regarding the Ukraine crisis with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (in Ottawa, O) and Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly.

Steve Scherer and Ismail Shakil

(Reuters) – Canada has announced that it will withdraw Russia and Belarus from its most favored country status and provide lethal aid for Ukraine. This included rocket launchers as well as hand grenades.

North Korea is the only country not to enjoy Canada’s most preferred nation status. Products from Russia or Belarus will also be subject to a 35% tariff if imported into Canada by Finance Minister Chrystia Freedomland.

Freeland explained to reporters that Russia will not receive the tariff benefits Canada gives other members of WTO.

Statistics Canada reports that Canada had imported approximately C$1.2billion ($948m) of Russian goods and C$23 million worth from Belarus by 2020.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), as a rule, includes the most preferred nation principle. It prevents WTO members who favor any country from granting them benefits such as lower tariffs and giving the same standard to all other members.

Moscow declared an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, prompting Canada, the European Union and other countries to take financial sanctions against Russia. Belarus was also targeted as an important staging area for the invasion.

Canada closed Russian ports and airspace, provided lethal military assistance to Ukraine and requested the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged Russian war crimes.

Freeland stated that the G7 had already placed the most severe sanctions on Russia’s major economies. More will be added in the coming days.

Anita Anand from Canada was also speaking during the news conference. She stated that Canada plans to provide more lethal assistance to Ukraine. These include up to 4500 M72 rocket launchers as well 7500 hand grenades sourced from Canada Armed Forces stockpiles.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, stated that Canada and close allies were calling for Russia to be removed from Interpol, the international police agency.

At a separate event, he stated that “We support this because we believe international law enforcement cooperation relies on a collective engagement to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights” and called for mutual respect among Interpol members.

In the worst attack on an European country since 1945, thousands of people are believed to have been killed or injured. More than one million have fled Ukraine.

Canada has also indicated that it will provide two streams of immigration for Ukrainians: one for temporary and one for permanent.

Canada is prepared to receive Ukrainians fleeing the war of (Russian President Vladimir Putin), and we will accept as many applications as possible,” Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated.

($1 = 1.2659 Canadian dollars)

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