Trudeau says solidarity of Western sanctions surprises Putin after Ukraine attack

By The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he thinks Russia’s Vladimir Putin is surprised by the strength and unity of Western sanctions in retaliation for his invasion of Ukraine.

Trudeau says Putin likely never imagined that Germany would freeze its lucrative Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russia or decide to send anti-tank weapons and surface to air missiles to Ukraine.

“For countries like Canada and the U.K. to be forward-leaning on pushing on sanctions, Putin probably expected,” Trudeau said Wednesday.

“For Germany to cancel Nord Stream, to talk about shipping weapons … to Ukraine? These are things that I think has definitely taken aback the Russian system because we are so united in standing up, not just for Ukraine, but for the principles of democracy that matter so much.”

The decision to provide weapons marked a historic shift in German military policy that has its roots in consigning its Second World War aggression against Europe to the dustbin of history.

Trudeau echoed what Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday — that future sanctions against Russian business interests in Canada could cause some economic “collateral damage” domestically.

He said he may look at compensating some businesses but added that allies in Europe will feel the economic effects of sanctions much more than Canada.

Trudeau spoke as the Russian aerial bombardment of Ukrainian cities continued Wednesday, killing scores of civilians and forcing an estimated 870,000 people to flood into other European countries as refugees.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2022.

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