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Canada to impose further Russia sanctions

Canada's prime minister announced Monday further economic sanctions against Russian entities and individuals, saying the downing of flight MH17 was a "direct product of Russia's military aggression and illegal occupation" of Ukraine.

OTTAWA: Canada's prime minister announced Monday further economic sanctions against Russian entities and individuals, saying the downing of flight MH17 was a "direct product of Russia's military aggression and illegal occupation" of Ukraine.

"The outrageous and criminal act of shooting down a civilian airliner last week is a direct product of Russia's military aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine, and demonstrates the need for the international community to continue applying pressure on the Putin regime," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was blown out of the sky on Thursday by what is believed to be a surface-to-air missile, killing 298 passengers and crew and dramatically raising the stakes in Ukraine's three-month conflict.

Kiev has blamed the rebels, citing photographs of anti-aircraft missile systems being moved from rebel-held territory into Russia less than 12 hours after the crash, and an intercepted call between an insurgent commander and a Russian intelligence officer as they realised they had shot down a passenger jet.

"It is clear that the Putin regime's continuing provocative military action against Ukraine, its illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula, and its failure to end its support to armed separatist groups in eastern Ukraine constitute a threat to international peace and security," Harper said.

He called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to order a withdrawal of his troops from its border with Ukraine, stop a flow of weapons and militants into Ukraine, urge the rebels to lay down their arms and to allow investigators access to the crash site.

The sanctions "against a broad range of entities related to various Russian sectors" follow consultations and coordination with Canada's allies, Harper noted.

Details of the sanctions were to be unveiled later in the day.

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