Moscow blacklists nine Canadian officials for spurring anti-Russian policy

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Russia has blacklisted nine Canadian nationals, involved in shaping and conducting anti-Russian policy, banning them from entering the country, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary on Monday.

“In response to unlawful sanctions imposed by the Canadian government against nationals of the Russian Federation on March 24, 2021, under the far-fetched pretext of the alleged persecution of Russian national Alexey Navalny, convicted for illegal actions, a decision was made to indefinitely ban entry to Russia for the following persons with Canadian citizenship,” the commentary said.

The list includes 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 for the Prime Minister; Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs; Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defense; Michael Rouleau, Vice Chief of the Defense Staff; Brian Brennan, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Rear Admiral Scott Bishop, Commander of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command.

The spokeswoman emphasized that the official Canadian authorities continue to support initiatives directed against Russia “displaying inappropriate and counterproductive activity in supporting the ultra-nationalistic regime in Kiev and Russophobic forces in the Baltics, groundless accusations against our country of ‘aggression aimed’ at Ukraine, as well as attempts to meddle in Russia’s internal affairs.” Such destructive actions by Ottawa, as the diplomat pointed out, “negatively reflect on the prospects of restoring full-fledged interstate dialogue and establishing interaction between Russia and Canada as neighbors via the North Pole.”

At the same time, Moscow is still ready to build constructive relations with Canada despite the Russophobic attitudes cultivated by a certain part of the Canadian establishment, the spokeswoman noted. “The Russian side remains open, when and if they are ready in Ottawa, to the development of our relations based on the principles of mutual respect with an emphasis on cooperation in such spheres of objectively coinciding interests as the Arctic, and regional and business connections. In Russia, Canadian people are invariably viewed warmly and with good feeling despite the ‘Russophobic’ moods cultivated by a part of its political class and certain ‘groups of influence’,” the diplomat concluded.

On March 24, the Canadian government slapped sanctions on nine high-ranking Russian officials over the situation around Russian blogger Alexey Navalny. The restrictive list includes Russia’s FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Director of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov, Chief of the Presidential Domestic Policy Directorate Andrei Yarin, Deputy Defense Ministers Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian President in the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyailo, head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kalashnikov and Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov.