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Russia Retaliates New Sanctions

On Friday November 3, Canada’s government imposed sanctions on 30 Russian officials, under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act. The government accused these men of collusion in the death of anti-corruption lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky.

In 2008 Magnitsky investigated state tax fraud involving Russian interior ministry officials. He accused the officials of a $235 million tax scam; in response Magnitsky was arrested for his claims. In 2009, Magnitsky died in prison, and numerous human rights organizations have alleged that he was beaten there and subsequently died under these mysterious circumstances.

Magnitsky’s death has sparked diplomatic tensions between Russia and other Western nations. The new sanctions imposed by Canada are the case’s latest developments.  



The Canadian sanctions target Russian suspects in the Magnitsky death; the Canadian government can ban them from entering the country and freeze their Canadian assets. To such measures, Kirill Kalinin, spokesman for the Russian embassy in Ottawa responded "Canada's decision on extending anti-Russian sanctions under a false pretext of a hypocritical protection of human rights is absolutely senseless and reprehensible”.

Kalinin claimed that Canada "is isolating itself from one of the key global powers" and "pushes Canada's foreign policy back to the narrow black-and-white world view, incompatible with modern geopolitics”.

Late Friday night, Kalinin affirmed that Russia has started its retaliation process against Canada.  According to Kalinin, dozens of Canadians have been banned from entering Russia. Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson verified “the list is long, with dozens of names on it”.

The Foreign Ministry publicized that the ban targets Russophobic Canadians who have persistently been trying to destroy bilateral relations. The ministry has also cautioned Canada to avoid a "destructive course, leading to further aggravation of bilateral relations"

A woman holds a poster with a portrait of Sergei Magnitsky during a 2012 rally (Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters)

A woman holds a poster with a portrait of Sergei Magnitsky during a 2012 rally (Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters)