Ukraine news: Trudeau rejects Russia referendum


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the votes in the occupied regions of Ukraine to join Russia, but did not give a timeline for the sanctions Canada promised a week ago.

Trudeau said the referendums were an attempt by Russia to redraw the map as it lost territory in the war that began in February.

Moscow claims people in the four regions it occupies voted 87% to join Russia, but Western governments say the process has been rigged.

Trudeau says Russia is trying to justify its war by claiming territory so it can view Ukraine as an aggressor.

The prime minister also phoned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday to pledge support for the country.

However, Trudeau has no deadline for when Canada will sanction more Russians.

“We will have stronger sanctions; these will be announced very soon,” Trudeau said, adding that Canada is one of the countries that punish Russia the most.

Foreign Secretary Melanie Joly announced more sanctions last Thursday.

Ottawa similarly has provided no details since announcing on Monday that it would sanction Iranian officials for its human rights crackdown following the death of Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested by the country’s ethics police. This arrest.

Trudeau said he promised Zelensky that Canada would do what it could to ensure “fake referendums” were not endorsed by other countries.

“We will also continue to work with the world to recognize that what Putin is trying to do is completely illegal,” Trudeau told reporters on Thursday afternoon.

He visited Quebec’s Iles-de-la-Madeleine to tour the damage caused by tropical storm Fiona last weekend.

Earlier, on Thursday, Defense Minister Anita Anand said Russia’s vote violated the international rules-based order that has been in place since the end of World War II.

“Canada condemns these actions and I personally loathe them, because they are so reprehensible,” she said.

“Ukraine’s territory will always be Ukrainian territory.”

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on September 29, 2022.

– With files by Lee Berthiaume in Ottawa and Emilie Bergeron in Iles-de-la-Madeleine

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