Finance (International)

More sanctions against Belarus

Canada imposed more sanctions against Belarus today, citing the country’s human-right record and President Alexander Lukashenko’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly announced the sanctions against 22 officials and 16 companies during a visit to Ottawa by opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who fled to neighbouring Lithuania after Lukashenko’s questionable re-election. [node:read-more:link]

Cryptocurrency platform a “Ponzi” scheme

Authorities in Estonia say two persons arrested in Tallinn November 20 for allegedly running a US$575-million cryptocurrency mining operation which was no more than an “elaborate Ponzi scheme.” Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin, being held for extradition to the U.S., are said to have convinced their victims to invest in the service and then used shell companies to launder the cash and buy real estate and luxury cars. [node:read-more:link]

PM never briefed about reported Chinese meddling

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has never been briefed that nearly a dozen candidates in the 2019 federal election may have been influenced by Chinese government financing. Opposition MPs in Parliament have been pressing the government for details but the response to date has been only that the election results were free and fair. “Let me be clear,” the PM said November 20. “I do not have any information, nor have I been briefed on any federal candidates receiving any money from China.” [node:read-more:link]

No-so-cryptic criticism of Poilievre

He wasn’t in the House of Commons today to hear it, but Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was the target of pointed criticism of his support for cryptocurrency while he sought the party leadership. The MPs were debating Bill C-249, a private bill introduced last February by Alberta Conservative Michelle Rempel Garner who wants the Finance Department to “encourage the growth of the cryptoasset sector.” Since then, however, cryptocurrency values have crashed and Poilievre’s critics said investors have suffered major losses. [node:read-more:link]

Another “promising” climate summit

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN’s climate change agenda ended November 20 with an agreement whereby wealthier countries ostensibly will compensate poorer ones for damage and economic losses cause by global warming. However, despite a familiar pattern of last-minute negotiations, the latest accord does not satisfy many delegates’ concerns about continued fossil fuel use. [node:read-more:link]

Xi says concerned about confrontation

As he and other leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, gathered today in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his country wants to be seen as a driver of regional unity. In an apparent dig at the U.S. – and despite China’s own aggressive expansionism – he said the region is “no one’s backyard” and should not become “an arena for big power contest.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada steps up Ukraine support

An additional $500 million in military aid for Ukraine was confirmed today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with the addition of 23 Russian members of the justice and security apparatus to Canada’s sanctions list. He made the announcement at the G20 economic summit in Bali, where Russia is represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “This additional military assistance will support Ukrainians as they bravely continue to fight against Vladimir Putin's illegal invasion, while these new sanctions will put added pressure on those who support these acts of war.” [node:read-more:link]

Stronger ties with Southeast Asia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is Canada’s sixth-largest trading partner as a bloc, to unveil a $333-million array of funding announcements. “This is a generational shift,” he said November 12 at the Phnom Penh summit, calling the funding as “concrete investments that are part of our commitment to this relationship.” [node:read-more:link]

Asian meetings globally important

World leaders have converged in Cambodia for the first in a series of international summits in Southeast Asia over the coming week. Globally-critical geopolitical divisions not seen in decades continue to evolve as the U.S. and China compete for leverage. [node:read-more:link]

Most Canadians back Ukraine aid

Results of a new Nanos Research poll released today indicate that even though it could exacerbate the federal deficit, 38 per cent of Canadians “support” increased financial support for Ukraine and a further 33 per cent are “somewhat” supportive. In contrast, 25 per cent “oppose” or “somewhat oppose” it while the small balance are unsure. Support is highest among respondents 55 or older. [node:read-more:link]

Putin won’t be at G20 summit

Russian President Vladmir Putin will not attend next weeks’ G20 leaders’ summit in Bali, opting instead to send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The decision was confirmed today by officials in Moscow and Indonesia who left open the possibility that Putin could participate remotely. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy confirmed

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Jolie said today that while Canada must continue to trade with an increasingly autocratic and assertive China because of the country’s global economic clout, there’s a clear need to be careful because of its disregard for human right and international trading rules. These are key elements of a speech on Indo-Pacific strategies scheduled to be delivered today to the Asia Pacific Foundation and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in Toronto. [node:read-more:link]

China trying to meddle in elections

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is accusing China of trying to interfere in Canadian electoral processes, part of what he says are China’s “aggressive games” with democracies generally. Despite strong evidence of meddling, a A Chinese foreign ministry official says his country has “no interest” in Canadian affairs and that “state-to-state relations can only be built on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.” [node:read-more:link]

Fuel suppliers helping Myanmar junta

Amnesty International wants aviation fuel shipments to Myanmar suspended in an attempt to stop the military government from using its air firce against civilian targets. “There can be no justification for participating in the supply of aviation fuel to a military that has a flagrant contempt for human rights and has been repeatedly accused of committing war crimes,” says the organization’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard of France. “If the planes can’t fuel up, they can’t fly out and wreak havoc.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada sanctions Haitian leaders

Canada is coordinating sanctions with the U.S. against two Haitian politicians, accusing of them of using their positions “to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs” which have paralyzed their country. Global Affairs Canada says President Youri Latortue and his predecessor, Joseph Lambert, support the gangs “through money laundering and other acts of corruption.” The U.S. Treasury Department says they have “have materially contributed to, or pose a significant risk of materially contributing to, the international proliferation of illicit drugs.” [node:read-more:link]


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