Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MH17: Canada to sanction Russia

An armed pro-Russian separatist waves back reporters at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on Monday. The international community called on the rebels to leave the scene immediately so investigators can begin piecing together how the plane went down. (Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters)
Canada is ready to level more sanctions against Russia in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Monday.

Baird, speaking to reporters by teleconference from London, said new sanctions will be introduced against individuals and entities, as well as entire sectors of the Russian economy. Baird told reporters the new sanctions will be similar to those already imposed by the U.S.

While Baird didn’t directly blame Russia for downing the plane, he said it must take some responsibility.

“The Kremlin may not have pulled the trigger, but it certainly loaded the gun and put it in the murderer’s hand,” he said.

Baird also called on pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine to immediately vacate the crash site to allow international investigators the chance to look through the wreckage without fear.

"I am very, very disturbed by the reports of the careless, even callous, way in which the crash site has been treated. It's time for these pro-Russian forces to immediately withdraw from the area and let Ukrainian and international authorities get on with their investigating and forensic work."

Baird was speaking prior to a press conference by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in which he said the rebels have now agreed to grant international investigators access to the site. Razak also said the pro-Russia Ukrainian separatists had agreed to hand over the plane's two black boxes.

A total of 298 people, including one Canadian, were killed when MH17 crashed near Donetsk last week.


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