Ukrainian News: Trudeau Rejects Russia Referendum

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned votes in occupied parts of Ukraine to join Russia, but gave no timeline for the sanctions Canada promised a week ago.

Trudeau says the referendums are an attempt by Russia to redraw the map as it loses territory in the war it started in February.

Moscow says people in the four regions it occupies voted more than 87% to join Russia, but Western governments say the process was rigged.

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

The Prime Minister also phoned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday to pledge his support for the country.

Yet Trudeau had no timetable for when Canada would sanction more Russians.

“We are going to have tougher sanctions; those will be announced very soon,” Trudeau said, saying Canada is one of the countries that has sanctioned Russia the most.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced that more sanctions were to come last Thursday.

Similarly, Ottawa has not provided any details since announcing on Monday it would sanction Iranian officials for the human rights crackdown that followed the death of Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested by vice police. from the country.

Trudeau said he had promised Zelensky that Canada would do everything possible to ensure that “bogus referenda” were not approved by other countries.

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

He was visiting the Magdalen Islands in Quebec to visit the damage caused by post-tropical storm Fiona last weekend.

Earlier Thursday, Defense Minister Anita Anand said Russia’s votes violate the rules-based international order in place since the end of World War II.

“Canada condemns these actions and I am personally disgusted by them because they are reprehensible,” she said.

“The territory of Ukraine will always remain the territory of Ukraine.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 29, 2022.

— With files from Lee Berthiaume in Ottawa and Emilie Bergeron in the Iles-de-la-Madeleine

Christi C. Elwood