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5 Oct, 2023 13:13

Canada allowing companies to bypass Russia sanctions – media

The government has tacitly authorized trade with Moscow in a number of sensitive sectors, news outlet Le Devoir reports
Canada allowing companies to bypass Russia sanctions – media

Canada has issued more than a dozen special permits allowing companies to circumvent sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, news outlet Le Devoir reported on Tuesday, citing federal data on international trade.

A number of transactions took place in the first seven months of this year “on the sidelines of the Ukrainian counteroffensive,” the outlet claimed.

The Canadian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the existence of the permits but refused to specify their exact number, according to Le Devoir. The ministry also declined to give the reasons which led to their issuance or the beneficiaries, citing “commercial confidentiality.” 

According to the outlet, the permits allow sanctions imposed by Ottawa to be bypassed in areas considered “delicate for Ukraine’s allies,” such as exports of materials and equipment linked to weapons manufacturing as well as oil and mining exploration. 

The total value of oil and mining deals authorized by Ottawa has reached $2 million (Can$2.8 million) since March 2022. In addition, Canadian companies have exported drilling machines for soil probes to Russia along with spare parts worth about $1.4 million. The most recent transaction was in February 2023.

As part of trade placed outside Canada’s sanctions regime, companies have also supplied Russia with several-thousand dollars’ worth of aluminum parts, static electrical converters, X-ray machines, and devices using alpha, beta, gamma or other ionizing radiation, according to Le Devoir. The outlet noted that this equipment is listed in Canada’s sanctions regulations due to its possible use in weapons production. 

Several Canadian companies were allowed to bypass sanctions on imports of Russian iron, cast iron, and steel products. That includes $13.1 million worth of iron and steel tubes, which can be used in the mining and oil sectors, data compiled by Le Devoir revealed. 

Government permits have also maintained supplies of items described as “luxury” and goods targeted by Canadian restrictions such as fresh fish, shellfish, and other seafood products, as well as vodka, for a total amount exceeding $12.3 million since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict.

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