Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Canada’s second-largest pension fund, sold securities affected by Western sanctions being imposed on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Chief Executive Officer Charles Emond said.

“As from today and for the future, we decided to sell all the securities under sanctions, that’s our position as an institution,” Emond told reporters Thursday at a briefing in Quebec. 

Emond didn’t provide an estimate of the value of the holdings. The securities included are in the oil and gas and financial services sectors, he said.

Even so, Emond said it’s “impossible” not to have exposure to Russian assets given that they are part of many global indexes. CDPQ manages about $420 billion (US$327.6 billion).

In a statement, a CDPQ representative said that the organization “will continue to carefully respect all Canadian sanctions and our position hasn’t changed: We have no interest in direct investments in Russia.”

Separately, Canada’s largest pension fund said that it hadn’t made any acquisitions in Russia and has no direct exposure to the country.

“We made a conscious decision years ago not to have Russia as one of our markets,” Canada Pension Plan Investment Board spokesman Frank Switzer said in a statement.