Canada has reportedly issued over a dozen special permits that allow companies to bypass sanctions on trade with Russia, according to a report by Canadian news outlet Le Devoir. The permits, which have been issued by the Canadian government, enable companies to engage in trade with Moscow in sensitive sectors, such as materials and equipment linked to weapons manufacturing, as well as oil and mining exploration.
The transactions, which occurred in the first seven months of this year, were carried out alongside the Ukrainian counteroffensive, as claimed by Le Devoir. While the Canadian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the existence of the permits, it has refused to disclose the exact number or provide details about the reasons for their issuance or the beneficiaries. The ministry cited “commercial confidentiality” as the reason for withholding this information.
Le Devoir’s report states that the permits enable Canadian companies to bypass Ottawa’s sanctions on exports of materials and equipment related to weapons manufacturing. It also allows for the trade of oil and mining exploration-related items. The total value of oil and mining deals authorized by Ottawa since March 2022 has reached $2 million (Can$2.8 million). Additionally, Canadian companies have exported drilling machines for soil probes to Russia, along with spare parts totaling approximately $1.4 million. The most recent transaction occurred in February 2023.
Le Devoir also highlighted that a significant amount of trade took place outside Canada’s sanctions regime, involving the supply of aluminum parts, static electrical converters, X-ray machines, and devices using ionizing radiation. These products have possible applications in weapons production, which is why they are listed in Canada’s sanctions regulations. The report also revealed that several Canadian companies were allowed to import Russian iron, cast iron, and steel products, including iron and steel tubes worth $13.1 million that can be used in the mining and oil sectors.
Furthermore, government permits have facilitated the trading of “luxury” items and goods that are targeted by Canadian restrictions. Examples include fresh fish, shellfish, and other seafood products, as well as vodka. The total value of these traded items exceeds $12.3 million since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict.
The Canadian government’s decision to issue these permits shows a tacit authorization of trade with Moscow, particularly in sectors that are considered sensitive for Ukraine’s allies. Despite the existence of these permits, official disclosures have been limited due to commercial confidentiality concerns.
In conclusion, Canada has granted special permits that allow companies to circumvent sanctions imposed on Russia, facilitating trade in various sensitive sectors. The permits cover exports of materials and equipment linked to weapons manufacturing, as well as oil and mining exploration. Some Canadian companies have also supplied Russia with products listed in Canada’s sanctions regulations, such as aluminum parts and devices using ionizing radiation. Additionally, imports of Russian iron, cast iron, and steel products were permitted. The issuance of these permits indicates a tacit authorization of trade with Moscow, highlighting Canada’s involvement in sensitive trade sectors despite international sanctions.