Canada suspends military exercises with Russia

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday ordered the suspension of joint military exercises with Russia, over Moscow's troop intervention in Ukraine's Crimea region.

"I have this morning directed that, effective immediately, all planned bilateral activities between the Canadian Armed Forces and the military of the Russian Federation be suspended," Harper said in a statement.

This includes an annual drill that last year saw Russia, Canada and the United States scramble fighter jets to intercept a hijacked commercial airliner.

A Russian Tupolev, an A-50 Beriev and Sukhoi fighter jets, as well as US AWACS and Canadian CF-18 Hornets were used in the simulation.

Meanwhile in the House of Commons, Harper renewed criticisms of Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, drawing parallels with Nazi Germany.

"What has occurred, as we know, has been the decision of a major power to effectively invade and occupy a neighboring country based on some kind of extraterritorial claim of jurisdiction over ethnic minorities," Harper said.

"We have not seen this kind of behavior since the Second World War. This is clearly unacceptable, and it is our view the world community as it reflects upon these actions will isolate Russia as a consequence."

Ukraine's flag was also flown outside Canada's parliament in a show of solidarity, one day after Canadian lawmakers voted unanimously to "strongly condemn" Russia's actions.

Three percent of Canadians, or 1.2 million people, trace their roots to Ukraine.