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Diplomat says Moscow will respond to Canada’s expansion of Russian officials blacklist

November 29, 2016, 17:23 UTC+3

The entire responsibility for the negative impact of that decision will rest on the Canadian side, Zakharova has stated

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© Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Ottawa’s irresponsible actions undermine perspectives for normal cooperation between Russia and Canada, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday, commenting on Canada’s further expansion of its blacklist of Russian officials.

"We took the decision of the Canadian authorities to further expand the sanction list of Russian officials with regret," she said in a commentary posted on the Russian foreign ministry’s website. "Instead of taking effort to improve the bilateral relations that have been marred not though our fault, the Canadian government continues to take its lead obediently from the U.S. Barack Obama administration which has made the anti-Russian course one of the central tracks of its failing foreign policy."

"Such irresponsible actions taken by Ottawa continue to undermine the perspectives of normal cooperation between our countries, including within the United Nations, where Canada is aspiring after non-permanent membership in the Security Council, and bring into question the sincerity of declarations by its leaders about their intention to establish constructive dialogue," Zakharova noted.

"Naturally, this unfriendly step will not remain unanswered," she stressed. "The entire responsibility for the negative impacts will rest solely on the Canadian side."

On Monday, Canada’s government expanded the anti-Russian sanction list over the situation in Ukraine. The new list includes 15 people, including six members of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house who were elected in Crimea. According to the Canadian foreign ministry, these are lawmakers Ruslan Balbek, Konstantin Bakharev, Andrei Kozenko, Svetlana Savchenko, Pavel Shperov and Dmitry Belik. Apart from that, the list features Anna Anyukhina, Svetlana Borodulina, Valentin Demidov, Irina Kiviko, Mikhail Nazarov, Viktor Palagin, Dmitry Polonsky, Oleg Shapovalov and Andrei Vasyuta.

Canada imposed the first batch of its sanctions on Russian individuals and legal entities who, according to the Canadian foreign ministry, threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, on March 17, 2014, concurrently with the United States. The then list included seven Russian officials and three Ukrainians, with Russian president’s adviser Sergei Glazyev, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, and Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov among them.

The sanctions envisage freezing of bank assets (if any) and a ban on entering Canada. The sanction list was subsequently expanded several times, with the latest such expansion coming into force from March 18, 2016. As of now, Canada’s sanction list includes more than 200 Russian companies and organization, as well as individuals, some of whom have Ukrainian citizenship.

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