RETALIATION

Russia Bans Unnamed Canadians in Tit-for-Tat Sanctions Move

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has banned a “whole cast of Canadian figures” in response to sanctions announced by Ottawa on Friday against 30 Russian individuals involved in a high-profile corruption case. Canada’s sanctions list came after the country earlier this year passed its own version of the U.S. Magnitsky Law, a measure that punishes Russian officials tied to a massive tax fraud scheme uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in custody in 2009. Russia’s Investigative Committee chairman Aleksandr Bastrykin is among the names now sanctioned by Ottawa, in addition to several high-ranking law enforcement and tax officials. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, accused Canadian authorities of “pampering their political ambitions” with the move. “If our Canadian partners like to play sanctions games, we will have to respond,” she said. Without providing details, she said Russia will now be “prohibiting entry to many Canadian citizens.” “The list is long and contains dozens of names—the Russophobic Canadian citizens that have been systematically destroying bilateral relations,” Zakharova said.