Canada's controversial presence at a Russian Embassy ceremony in Ottawa | War in Ukraine

With Canada taking a hard line on Moscow, Global Affairs Canada sent its deputy chief of protocol to a reception at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa on Friday. A “completely unacceptable” gesture, reacted Federal Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.

According to information first published by the daily newspaper tea World & E-mail As confirmed by CBC, Yasemin Heinbecker, a senior Canadian ministry official, was present at the Russian embassy on Friday. A ceremony took place there to mark Russia Day.

Totally unacceptable. No Canadian representatives were allowed to attend the event at the Russian Embassy and no Canadian representatives will attend such events in the futureMinister Joly said on Twitter on Sunday evening.

The decision to send a protocol officer to the reception was made by Global Affairs CanadaWe confirm this from the ministry responsible for diplomatic relations.

The latter communicates this via emailNo Canadian representative would have been allowed to attend the event at the Russian Embassy and no Canadian representative will attend this type of event in the future. Russian officials will not be invited to ministry events for Canada Day.

Change of tone

However, the Foreign Ministry initially defended Yasemin Heinbecker's presence at the reception organized by the Russian Embassy.

This is not an ordinary situation, but we continue to maintain diplomatic relations with Russia regarding certain Canadian interests, which is why Global Affairs Canada sent a protocol officer to the receptionChristelle Chartrand, spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, initially said in a statement sent Friday.

It was after the article was published World & E-mailSunday that Ms. Chartrand sent a second statement apologizing on behalf of the government and repeating the State Department's statements.

Ms. Chartrand states that Global Affairs Canada made the decision to send a protocol officer to receive the Russian Embassy and that this is the case Russian officials will not be invited to ministry events for Canada Day.

A question of good neighbors

For his part, Russian Ambassador Oleg Stepanov insisted Thank you, Ms. Heinbecker to get honored [la] reception.

Diplomacy is about dialogue. Despite current political differences, we must remember that our countries are neighborsargued Mr. Stepanov.

We do not view Canada through the lens of confrontation and are prepared to wait patiently for the Trudeau Cabinet or the next government to understand that it is in Canada's national interest to maintain good neighborly relations with Russia. This would certainly benefit both our nations and the Arctic regionthe ambassador added in a written statement.

Tyrone Hodgson

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