Ukrainian Peace Agreement Prompts Ottawa to Hold Ukraine Sanctions

Ottawa has announced to at least temporarily ease up on imposing economic sanctions against senior Ukrainian officials, as it mentioned in a statement that it welcomes the agreement between President Viktor Yanukovych’s regime and the opposition. However, the announcement also warned that Ottawa will evaluate the besieged government based on actions and not just promises.

The Conservative government previously announced on Thursday that it has expanded travel restrictions and targeted asset freezes for those it deemed responsible for the bloody clashes and ongoing crisis. However, in light of the peace deal signed on Friday and the Ukrainian parliament newly empowered, the Prime Minister’s Office has now mentioned that it is temporarily putting the economic sanctions on hold as it monitors the situation. The statement said that “we will continue to work closely with our allies on next steps, including the implementation of asset freezes should events on the ground necessitate additional measures.”

However, it was particularly notified that Ottawa is still upholding the previously imposed visa restrictions that bar senior regime figures from entering Canada as part of the first ban announced on Jan. 28. The United States and the EU have also announced travel restrictions. The press statement issued by PMO on Friday afternoon stated that “we welcome news of the agreement between the Yanukovych regime and the opposition.” He added that “we will judge actions not words. The regime must deliver on its commitments to the Ukrainian people and end the violence that has led to the deaths of scores of civilians.”

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