Russia announced on Friday that it would ban 62 Canadians, including political and military officials, priests and journalists, from entering its territory in response to recent Canadian sanctions against Russian figures.
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This decision was made “given the particularly hostile nature of (Canadian) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s regime” and in response to actions aimed at “offending not only the multinational and multi-religious people of Russia, but also orthodox believers of the world.” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
Canada has imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow in recent months over the Ukraine conflict, targeting in particular Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Russian diplomatic communiqué assures that the persons sanctioned by Russia have been characterized by “malicious activities in the fight against “the Russian world” and traditional Russian values”.
Notable on that list are Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman Adrien Blanchard, Catholic priest and Convivum magazine editor Raymond J. de Souza, and Canadian Forces Intelligence Commander Michael Charles Wright as several advisers to Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the LGBT activist Brent Hawkes.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24. This attack provoked unprecedented Western sanctions against Moscow, which retaliated with similar measures.
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