Ukraine calls for further Canadian sanctions on Russia after boats seized

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OTTAWA — Ukraine is asking Canada to impose more sanctions on Russia as tensions between the two eastern European countries threaten to erupt into open conflict.

Ukraine’s ambassador made the appeal during an appearance before a House of Commons committee in which he also asked that Canada extend its military training mission in his country and support Ukraine’s bid to join the NATO military alliance.

Andriy Shevchenko says the U.S. and some European countries imposed new sanctions after Russia seized two Ukrainian gunboats, a tugboat and their 24 sailors off the Crimean Peninsula last month and supported elections in a breakaway region of east Ukraine.

The ambassador is hoping Canada will follow suit, saying economic pressure has curbed Russian aggression in eastern Europe over the years.

Shevchenko also says his country is in talks with Canada about extending and expanding the training mission that is due to expire at the end of March, which was launched in 2015 and has trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.

That includes sending Canadians closer to where the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists have been locked in a deadly standoff for years.

The Canadian Press