The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced sanctions on over 300 Canadian individuals including the North American Country’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
The sanctions are in response to a similar move by the Canadian government. Canada had along with other “Western” countries levied sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, his close political allies, senior government leaders and the billionaire oligarchs who control Russian industry and other entities abroad.
The Russian sanction was delivered on Tuesday in response to what it calls the “outrageous hostility of the current Canadian regime.”
The sanctions list includes the ministers of foreign affairs and national defense, and most of the deputies of the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament.
“Aggressive pro-Bandera elements” in Canada are also banned, the Russian announcement revealed, referring to the Ukrainian WW2-era Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. Those sanctioned are barred from entering the Russian Federation.
Canadian troops were accused by Jewish groups last year of involvement in training neo-Nazi battalions in Ukraine. It was also revealed by media that Canadian officials had met in 2018 with members of the notorious neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.
The Russian Foreign Ministry defended its latest step, declaring that “every Russophobic attack, be it attacks on Russian diplomatic missions, airspace closures, or Ottawa’s actual severing of bilateral economic ties to the detriment of Canadian interests, will inevitably receive a decisive and not necessarily symmetrical rebuff.”
The sanctions announcement from Moscow followed Canada’s declaration that it would impose sanctions on 15 Russian officials. Ottawa’s sanctions were announced ahead of an expected virtual address to the Canadian Parliament by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is planning a similar speech to the US Congress on Wednesday.
In the address, President Zelensky thanked Trudeau and Canada for its contributions to this point.
Canada has closed its airspace and ports to Russian aircraft and vessels, shipped millions of dollars’ worth of lethal military aid to Ukraine, and banned oil imports from Russia, though Canada has not actually imported any Russian oil since 2019. The latest round of sanctions from Ottawa adds a handful of individuals to a list of hundreds already targeted since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Trudeau said the prime minister was not bothered by the new Canadian additions to Russia’s sanctions list.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur