Min Joly announces additional sanctions to protect Ukrainian culture from being destroyed by Russia

Mélanie Joly Image credit @melaniejoly

Ottawa/CMEDIA: As part of the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations, and in direct response to Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukraine’s cultural sites, institutions and identity, Canada is imposing additional sanctions against 24 individuals and 17 entities in Ukraine, Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced June 10, a press release has said.

Besides extensive damage and complete destruction of a number of Ukraine’s cultural sites, thousands of missing Ukrainian cultural artifacts have been reportedly stolen by Russian forces their effort to erase Ukraine’s identity, in the temporarily occupied territories since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and prior to that during the attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014.

“Canada will not let Russia strip Ukraine of its cultural heritage and will do everything in its power to end the Kremlin’s war on Ukrainian identity. These intentional and targeted attacks on Ukraine’s cultural property cannot remain unpunished,” said Joly.

Canada is sanctioning persons connected to Russia’s theft of Ukrainian cultural objects to counter the Kremlin’s efforts to “Russify” Ukraine’s culture.

The list of individuals being sanctioned includes Ukrainians who work at museums and other cultural centres who collaborate with Russia.

This sanction list contains newly created entities in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, including ministries of education and culture, and individuals and entities related to private military companies that originated in Ukraine and are fighting for Russia.

In order to protect Ukrainian culture and identity, Russia’s attempts to forcefully impose its culture and education on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine would result in these sanctions imposing further costs on so-called authorities in areas of Ukraine illegally occupied by Russian forces.

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