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Canada tightens sanctions noose on Russia

Further action may be necessary, prime minister says.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   Aug. 7, 2014 at 10:26 AM

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OTTAWA, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said new economic pressure on Russia targets technology used for oil exploration and extraction.

Harper said he had grave concerns over Russia's provocative military action in eastern Ukraine. Pro-Russian separatists there are suspected of playing a role in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet last month, killing all 295 people on board.

The prime minister said he was imposing a travel ban on 19 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and economic sanctions on close to two dozen Russian and Ukrainian groups.

"We are also committed to imposing the necessary regulations to enact export restrictions on technologies used in Russia's oil exploration and extraction sector," Harper said in a statement Wednesday. "Those will be implemented in parallel with our allies."

Harper in July announced sanctions against 10 separate Russian entities, including Russian independent gas company Novatek and Gazprombank, the financial arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom. The action followed similar steps from his Western allies.

Harper said the Kremlin hasn't shown any signs it's ready to respect Ukraine's sovereignty, so the sanctions pressure may grow.

"Together with our allies and partners, we stand ready to take further actions if the Putin regime's military aggression continues," he said.

Follow @dan_graeber and @UPI on Twitter.
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