Russia is not going to miss any opportunity to retaliate for the Western sanctions. In the latest official move, it has banned entry to 13 Canadian officials and lawmakers.
According to Russia's Foreign Ministry, the decision was a response to the "unacceptable action by the Canadian side that has inflicted serious damage to bilateral relations," CTV News reported.
The Ministry said on Monday March 24 that Russia would continue to be open to any "constructive" cooperation from Canada. Neither Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper nor Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is in the list of personnel who are banned to enter Russia, one may find some interesting selections in the list.
Someone like the Speaker of the House, Andrew Scheer, who has never spoken anything in public against Russia's annexation of Crimean peninsula is featured in the list.
Liberal MP and Former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, who is also in the list, tweeted he considered Russia's decision to ban him as a "badge of honor." He referred to Russian Lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in prison after he blamed Russian officials of conspiring with organized criminals. Cotler later said in a statement that he had earlier been expelled from the Soviet Union in 1979.
The 13 officials who face the travel ban by Russia include two liberals, one NDP MP and five members of the Conservative government of Canada, CBC News reported. Harper earlier indicated Russia could be expelled from the group of G8 nations. Baird said the announcement of banning the Canadian officials was "concerning."
Below is the list of officials who face travel ban:
- Christine Hogan, foreign affairs and defence policy adviser to the prime minister
- Wayne Wouters, clerk of the Privy Council
- Jean-Francois Tremblay, deputy secretary to the cabinet in the Privy Council Office
- Andrew Scheer, House of Commons speaker
- Peter Van Loan, government house leader
- Raynell Andreychuk, Conservative senator
- Dean Allison, Conservative MP
- Paul Dewar, NDP MP
- Irwin Cotler, Liberal MP
- Ted Opitz, Conservative MP
- Chrystia Freeland, Liberal MP
- James Bezan, Conservative MP
- Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress