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Canada imposes sanctions on Crimea officials, Chernomorneftegaz oil and gas company

Canada is introducing sanctions against two Crimean officials and the Chernomorneftegaz oil and gas company, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said on Saturday.

"Today, we are imposing sanctions on two additional individuals and on a Crimean oil and gas company," the diplomat said. He stressed that "Canada and its allies are prepared to take additional steps that will further isolate Russia economically and politically."

The Canadian Foreign Ministry specified that the sanctions are imposed on the head of the election commission of Sevastopol, Valery Medvedev, and his colleague from the election commission of Crimea Mikhail Malyshev.

"We remain steadfast in our support for Ukraine and will continue to work with allies and like-minded countries to apply pressure to Russia until it de-escalates the situation in Ukraine," Baird stated.

On March 1, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Canada was suspending preparations for the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Sochi and recalling its ambassador in Moscow for consultations. He later gave instructions to suspend all bilateral contacts between the Canadian armed forces and the RF military and suspend Canada's participation in the bilateral intergovernmental economic commission. Ottawa also expelled nine Russian military servicemen who were staying in the country under a programme of bilateral exchanges between the two states' Defence Ministries. On March 7, Harper said that Canada was imposing visa sanctions on a number of Russian officials, in connection with the developments in Ukraine.

The press service of the U.S. Department of Commerce reported on April 11 that it included Crimea's Chernomorneftegaz in its blacklist. The American sanctions against the Crimean company Chernomorneftegaz make "part of the global struggle for control over energy resources," Crimean First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev noted on his Facebook webpage. Temirgaliyev was also blacklisted by the United States.

The Crimean Republic's first deputy prime minister drew attention to the fact that the U.S. support of "democracy" in Ukraine, as well as in Iraq or Libya "is very often accompanied by contracts of American companies on the exclusive recovery of hydrocarbons in these countries."

"The Black Sea shelf around Crimea is rich in oil and natural gas and many Western companies were already preparing for super profits... But Crimea reunited with Russia, Chernomorneftegaz became Crimean property of Russia, so the oil and gas production revenue will be spent on the development of the peninsula, and will not flow into the pockets of Western corporations," said Temirgaliyev.

[Source: Itar Tass, Ottawa, 13Apr14]

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