POLITICS

Ukraine Crisis: Rob Nicholson Says More Sanctions Against Russia Possible

03/02/2015 04:18 EST | Updated 05/02/2015 05:59 EDT
PARIS - Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson says Canada may impose more sanctions on Russia if it continues to violate the ceasefire with Ukraine.

Nicholson blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for flare-ups that have persisted since France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine negotiated the Minsk II agreement last month aimed at ending hostility in eastern Ukraine.

Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces are accusing each other of violating the agreement.

Secretary of State John Kerry has said the U.S. has prepared a new round of sanctions and could implement them quickly.

Nicholson says Canada has one of the toughest sanctions regimes of any country, and is prepared to do more in concert with allies.

Nicholson is in Paris for talks with his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius.

"In my meeting with Minister Fabius, I underscored our government's steadfast and unrelenting commitment with the people of Ukraine in the face of Vladimir Putin's military aggression," Nicholson said in a statement.

He calls it a tragedy that the UN Human Rights Office has now said more than 6,000 people have been killed in the Ukraine conflict since April 2014.

Nicholson says that's a "distressing consequence of Putin's ongoing militarism and provocation in Ukraine."

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