Canada bans Russian aluminum, steel as Belgium dumps TikTok

Canada tries to constrict the flow of funds to Moscow’s war chest.

Canada on Friday announced a ban on imports of Russian aluminum and steel products while in the European Union, Belgium banned federal officials from using TikTok on their work phones.

Ottawa’s ban is expected to prevent Moscow from earning 250 million Canadian dollars ($180 million) in aluminum and steel products expors to Canada.

The ban comes as a 200 percent tariff on Russian aluminum imports announced last month by the United States came into effect, and after the EU already blocked Russian steel products last year, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Canada, and our partners, have already sanctioned the Russian Central Bank and capped the price of Russian oil and gas,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland also said, according to AFP.

In Brussels, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo defended the TikTok ban, saying, “We shouldn’t be naive: TikTok is a Chinese business that is currently obliged to cooperate with the Chinese intelligence services.”

A number of national governments in Europe have already restricted TikTok for government employees, over fears the authorities in Beijing could use the video-sharing network to access sensitive user data.

The European Union’s governing institutions have also told staff in recent weeks to purge the app from smartphones and laptops used for work purposes.

A spokesperson for TikTok denied the accusation.

“TikTok is not a Chinese company. Our parent company is also incorporated outside of China and is majority-owned by global institutional investors,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Its user data was not stored in China, the spokesperson added.

“The Chinese Government cannot compel another sovereign nation to provide data stored in that nation’s territory.”

“We are readily available to meet with officials to address any concerns and set the record straight on misconceptions.”


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