Canada backs tougher U.S. measures on Russia

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird talks during a press conference before a meeting with the...

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird talks during a press conference before a meeting with the leaders of the Ukrainian community in Montreal on March 7, 2014. (JOEL LEMAY/QMI AGENCY)

Mark Dunn, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:48 PM ET

OTTAWA — Canada did not object Thursday to new U.S. sanctions that could harm the global economy to protest Russia's takeover of Crimea and discourage any military incursion into mainland Ukraine.

The U.S. upped the ante with the toughest measures to date after weeks of featherweight initiatives announced by Canada, the U.S. and European countries were ignored and mocked by Russian officials.

President Barack Obama said Thursday the White House now plans to go after key sectors of the Russian economy -- likely oil and gas -- and a bank and wealthy Russians with holdings in the U.S., on top of Kremlin officials who had already been targeted.

"This is not our preferred outcome," Obama said. "These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy, but could also be disruptive to the global economy." Moscow responded to the U.S. blacklist by slapping travel restrictions on American legislators, including House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, a trio of White House officials and others.

"We have repeatedly warned that sanctions are a double-edged instrument and would hit the United States like a boomerang," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "There must be no doubt: We will respond adequately to every hostile thrust."

Canada has been in lockstep with its allies on the rhetoric front and has endorsed all U.S. efforts to date since troops were deployed to the Black Sea peninsula and the subsequent annexation of Crimea.


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