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Harper extends sanctions on Russian officials, bank

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Canada extended sanctions Friday against 14 more Russian officials, as well as their personal bank.

News of the extended sanctions came as Prime Minister Stephen Harper touched down in the Netherlands to begin a European visit that will include a brief, morale-raising trip to Ukraine.

“Together with our international allies, our government is taking a strong stance in our support for Ukraine,” Harper said in a statement.

“We continue to take additional actions to limit the capabilities of specific individuals and Bank Rossiya, which are responsible for undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

The economic restrictions and travel bans cover senior Russian bureaucrats, including the intelligence chief of the Russian general staff and more of President Vladimir Putin’s aides and advisers.

They also hit the Bank Rossiya, which the Prime Minister’s Office says is the personal bank for senior Russian officials.

On his side trip Saturday, Harper will become the first leader of a G7 country to visit Ukraine since pro-Western demonstrators drove out its government last month.

He will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who has already recently visited Kyiv.

The visit comes a few days before Harper is expected to make the case for a tough, united G7 front against the Russians.

The G7 nations are holding an emergency meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the biggest crisis in eastern Europe since the Cold War era.

As one of the most senior members of the G7, Harper is expected to carry additional sway with his colleagues because of his consistent warnings in the past about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Those Russian officials facing fresh sanctions from Canada include:

— Andrei Alexandrovich Fursenko, Putin aide;

— Alexei Gromov, first deputy head of presidential administration;

— Sergei Ivanov, chief of staff to the presidential executive office;

— Victor Petrovich Ivanov, member of the Russian security council;

— Vladimir Igorevich Kozhin, Putin’s head of administration;

— Yuri Valentinovich Kovalchuk, largest single shareholder of Bank Rossiya and personal banker to senior officials;

— Sergey Yevgenyevich Naryshkin, chairman of the government Duma of the federal gathering of the Russian Federation;

— Lt.-Gen. Igor Dmitrievich Sergun, general staff chief of military intelligence;

— Yury Viktorovich Ushakov, Putin foreign policy adviser;

— Vladimir Pligin, chairman of the Duma constitutional law committee;

— Arkadii Viktorovich Bakhin, first deputy defence minister;

— Mikhail Vitalevich Margelov, chairman of the federation council committee for foreign affairs;

— Vitalii Nikitich Ignatenko, first deputy chairman of the federation council committee for foreign affairs;

— Gennady Timchenko, one of the founders of the Gunvor, a major commodity trading company.

 
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