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Canada bans Russian aluminum and steel imports

FILE PHOTO: Container ships anchored in English Bay in Vancouver

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Friday banned the import of all Russian aluminum and steel products in a move that Ottawa said was aimed at denying Moscow the ability to fund its war against Ukraine.

"Ukraine can and must win this war. We continue to do everything we can to cut off or limit the revenue used to fund Putin's illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine," Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

The ban covers both finished and unfinished products, and would impact the import of products such as aluminum sheets, aluminum containers as well steel tubes and pipes, according to the statement.

Canada, along with its Western allies, has taken coordinated actions against Russia over its invasion in Ukraine. Ottawa has slapped sanctions on more than 1,600 individuals and entities over the invasion and supported Kyiv with over C$5 billion ($3.6 billion) in financial, military and other aid.

"We are ensuring Putin cannot pay for his war by selling aluminum and steel in Canada, in coordination with action taken by the United States today," Freeland said.

Russia calls its actions Ukraine a "special military operation" to combat what it describes as a security threat from Ukraine's ties to the West.

Last month, the United States announced a 200% tariff on Russian aluminum and related products that came into effect on Friday. Russian aluminum is produced by Rusal, which accounts for about 6% of global supplies.

Canada imported C$45 million of aluminum and C$213 million of steel products from Russia In 2021, according to official data.

($1 = 1.3794 Canadian dollars)

($1 = 1.3794 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa)