Russia announced on Friday that it would ban entry into its territory of 62 Canadians, including political and military officials, priests and journalists, in response to recent Canadian sanctions targeting Russian personalities.
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This decision was taken “in view of the particularly hostile nature of the Prime Minister’s regime [canadien] Justin Trudeau” and in response to actions aimed at “insulting not only the multinational and multi-faith people of Russia, but also Orthodox believers around the world,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Canada has in recent months taken a series of sanctions against Moscow because of the Ukrainian conflict, which have notably targeted Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Those sanctioned by Russia have distinguished themselves by “malicious activities in the fight against “the Russian world” and traditional Russian values”, assures the communiqué of the Russian diplomacy.
On this list are notably the spokesman of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adrien Blanchard, the Catholic priest and editor of Convivium magazine, Father Raymond J. de Souza, the commander of intelligence of the Canadian Armed Forces, Major Michael Charles Wright , as well as several advisers to the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and an LGBT activist, Brent Hawkes.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24. This assault provoked unprecedented Western sanctions against Moscow, which retaliated with similar measures.