Canada has once again reaffirmed its commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine, saying the annexation of Crimea breaches international law.
"Through its illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea, Russia has violated the international rules-based order and the vital international norm that no country can change another country's borders by force. Canada reaffirms its enduring commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and condemns actions taken by Russia towards the forcible integration of the Crimean peninsula into Russia, including through the opening of the Kerch Strait Bridge in May 2018," according to a statement published on the government website.
"Since Russia's occupation of Crimea, we have witnessed severe human rights violations – committed by state agents of Russia – including the suppression of freedom of expression and association, arbitrary arrests, torture, detentions and disappearances. Many of these grave human rights violations were documented last fall by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights."
"We call for the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, including Oleg Sentsov, who have been removed to Russia and sentenced by courts whose jurisdiction in Crimea we do not recognize," it said.
"Crimea's rich cultural heritage has also been targeted by Russia, including through the mistreatment of the Crimean Tatar population and their historic sites."
"Canada is steadfast in its support for the people of Ukraine. Together, the international community must maintain its pressure, including through economic sanctions, until Russia respects international law and Ukraine's sovereignty," reads the statement.