Canada subsequently imposed sanctions on Russian officials in protest of the treatment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Ottawa has not yet commented on Moscow’s move today.
“In response to the illegal sanctions imposed by the Canadian government on March 24, 2021 against citizens of the Russian Federation under the trumped-up pretext of persecuting Russian citizen Alexei Navalny, convicted of wrongdoing, it was decided to ban the following persons indefinitely from entering Russia,” Zakarovova wrote.
Among the nine Canadians on the “blacklist” are Attorney General David Lamty, Federal Prison Service chief Ann Kelly, Deputy Defense Secretary Judy Thomas and RCMP Director Brenda Lockey. “Ottawa continues to support initiatives against Russia at various levels,” Zakarova said, who said Canada supports “the ultra-nationalist regime in Kiev and anti-Russian forces in the Baltic states,” among others.
Canada imposed sanctions on nine Russian officials in March in response to the arrest of opposition leader Navalny after he returned home to Germany in January where he was being treated for a previous poisoning. The Canadian move also came in response to Russia’s crackdown on demonstrations in support of Navalny.
According to Western laboratories, the opposition was poisoned last year with a nerve agent from a group of newcomers, which was confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Navalning attributes his poisoning to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the intelligence of the Federal Security Service, which Moscow denies.
For example, AFP reported that Canadian sanctions were aimed at the head of the Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the prison service, Alexander Kalashnikov, or the Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov. The European Union and the United States have also imposed sanctions on some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partners in relation to Naney.