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Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Canada releases loan to Ukraine for heating fuel

Wednesday, August 17, 2022 @ 4:48 PM | By Terry Davidson

Canada is lending Ukraine more money in order to help the country buy heating fuel as it continues to defend itself against Russian invasion.

According to an Aug. 17 news release, Deputy Prime Minister and federal Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland has announced the official “disbursement of $450 million in loans to Ukraine to support the purchase of necessary heating fuel before winter.”

The loan, being made through the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Multi Donor Administered Account for Ukraine, involves two recent “commitments.”

In late May, Freeland announced a loan of $250 million during the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting. Then, in late June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a loan of an additional $200 million during the G7 Leaders’ Summit.

With this, Ottawa has loaned Ukraine a total of $1.9 billion this year, according to the release.

“Canada played a leading role in the establishment of the IMF Administered Account, which is assisting Ukraine in meeting its balance of payments and budgetary needs, and in stabilizing the country’s economy despite Russia’s ongoing invasion,” states the release, calling the “Administered Account … the best option for distributing funds to Ukraine in a safe, effective, and efficient manner, with the ability to maximize support by pooling funding from international partners and allies.”

In February, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine — an all-out attack deemed illegal by many in the international community.

Freeland said in a statement that Canadians “are firmly committed to supporting the government and people of Ukraine in their fight against Vladimir Putin’s illegal and barbaric invasion.”

“With today’s disbursement of $450 million in loans … we have now disbursed all loans to Ukraine committed to date,” stated Freeland. “It is Canada’s strong conviction that Ukraine must win this war to defend its sovereignty, democracy, and the rules-based international order.”

Canada and other allied countries have slapped Russia with a myriad of economic sanctions in reaction to the invasion.

But earlier this summer, Canada’s government made the controversial decision to create a temporary export permit in order to return six Russian-owned gas turbines being held at a Montreal repair facility.

The decision was made following talks with Germany, which had requested the equipment be returned due to the impending winter and its reliance — as well as that of some other European countries — on natural gas from Russia via the Nordstream 1 pipeline.

News reports at the time suggested the turbines would be sent to Germany, which would pass them into Russian hands.

At the time, Russia had ceased the pipeline’s transfer of gas, claiming ongoing maintenance as the reason. However, fears grew in Germany that the Kremlin could make the period of shutdown indefinite in retribution for the sanctions.

Ukraine was quick to condemn Canada, with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing “deep disappointment” in the decision, stating that the “Canadian-German agreement” runs contrary to “the rule of law.”

But Trudeau defended the decision, saying a refusal to return the repaired turbines would potentially hurt Germany and other European allies.

Meanwhile, Canada announced in early July it would be expanding its oil, gas and chemical sanctions against Russia to include industrial manufacturing.

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