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Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces more sanctions over crisis in Ukraine

OTTAWA - Canada is imposing economic sanctions and travel bans against 11 Russian and Ukrainian individuals plus one additional entity over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

The announcement Saturday came as President Vladimir Putin ordered military forces in central Russia on combat alert, which NATO said could be seen as an escalation of the crisis with Ukraine.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that ”Russia’s illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine and provocative military activity remains a serious concern to the international community.”

The measures announced Saturday are in addition to previous moves that have included imposing a number of political and economic sanctions against senior officials and some institutions in Russia and Ukraine.

As well, Canada has expelled a Russian diplomat, co-sponsored a UN resolution on the crisis and earmarked $220 million to help stabilize the Ukrainian economy.

Harper says the new sanctions ”will continue to increase economic pressure on those responsible for the crisis in Ukraine.”

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