7 Jun 2021 21:33

Russia bars entry for several Canadian officials in response to Canada's sanctions in Navalny case - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. June 7 (Interfax) - Russia has taken retaliatory measures in relation to the Canadian officials and statesmen "involved in formulating and pursuing the anti-Russian policy," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"In response to unlawful sanctions against Russian citizens imposed by the Canadian government on March 24, 2021, under the false pretext of the alleged prosecution of Russian citizen Alexei Navalny convicted for unlawful actions, it was decided to ban the following persons holding Canadian citizenship from entering Russia indefinitely: David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Anne Kelly, Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada; Brenda Lucki, Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Marci Surkes, Director of Policy and Cabinet Affairs at the Canadian Prime Minister's Office; Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs of Canada; Jodi Thomas, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defense of Canada; Mike Rouleau, Vice Chief of the Defense Staff of Canada; Brian Brennan, Deputy Commissioner of Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Rear Adm. Scott Bishop, Commander of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website.

According to the ministry, the Canadian authorities are "continuing to support at various levels the initiatives aimed against Russia, by engaging in inappropriate and counterproductive activities in support of the ultra-nationalist regime in Kyiv and the Russophobic forces in the Baltic states, groundless accusations against our country of 'aggression' against Ukraine, as well as attempts to interfere in Russia's domestic affairs."

"Such actions of the Canadian side, which contributed to the deterioration of bilateral relations, have a negative impact on the prospects of restoring the full-scale dialogue between the countries and building interaction between Russia and Canada as neighbors via the North Pole," the ministry said.

At the same time, the Russian side "remains open, when and if Ottawa is ready for it, for the development of our relations on the basis of the principles of mutual respect with an emphasis on cooperation in such areas of objectively converging interests as the Arctic and regional and business ties," it said.

"Russians have always treated the people of Canada warmly and sympathetically, despite the Russophobic sentiments fanned by part of its political class and some 'pressure groups,'" the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

On March 24, Canada imposed sanctions on nine Russian public officials, describing these actions as a response to human rights violations in Russia.

The individuals designated on the sanctions list include director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, director of the Federal Penitentiary Serviced Alexander Kalashnikov, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, first deputy head of the Russian Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, deputy defense ministers Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, chief of the Presidential Domestic Policy Directorate Andrei Yarin, presidential envoy to the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyailo, and Russian Guard Director Viktor Zolotov.

An asset freeze has been introduced with regard to the sanctioned individuals. Additionally, they were banned from entering Canada.