After being chided by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for “doing whatever the Americans do,” Canada and its polarizing prime minister Stephen Harper ratcheted up the pressure on Russia with more sanctions against organizations in Russia that include a pro-Putin biker gang known as the Night Wolves.

Harper said in a statement that there must be ongoing consequences for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in 2014.

The latest round of sanctions will also target four Russian energy companies, along with three leaders of the Eurasian Youth Union. Senior leaders of the targeted organizations will not be able to travel to Canada as a result of the sanctions.

The new round of economic penalties will also ban the import of any goods or services produced in Russian-occupied Ukraine.

While the sanctions appear to be unilateral and could easily be construed as a direct response to Putin’s sharp criticism of Canada, Harper insists the new sanctions were taken in co-ordination with international governments.

Canada is engaged in something of a trade war with Russia as last August the Kremlin announced a year long temporary ban on certain agricultural imports from Canada and other countries that imposed sanctions.

It is likely that the new sanctions may trigger an extension of the supposedly temporary measure, though this has not been confirmed.

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