MOSCOW, April 1./TASS/. Russia will not leave unanswered new sanctions slapped by Canada over Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
"Russia will not leave the latest attack from Ottawa without a due response, it is now being prepared," the diplomat said.
According to her, this policy of Canada "demonstrates absolutely painful stubbornness" in its denying the objective reality. "There is only one recipe here - parting with illusions that the residents of Crimea who voted to return to where they belong can be forced to abandon their historical choice," the diplomat stressed.
"Attempts by the Canadian authorities to dictate to sovereign countries how they should live, what values they should choose and be guided by, undermine the reputation of Canada itself, plunging it into confrontation with a growing number of important international players," she summed up.
On Monday, Canada slapped new sanctions against Moscow over Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The sanctions targeted two individuals and four entities, related to the construction of the Crimean Bridge. According to Ottawa, Russia allegedly violates the rights of people living in Crimea and illegally settles Russian citizens in the peninsula. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau vowed that Ottawa stands ready to "take further measures with our allies and partners as required."
After the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deal on March 18, 2014, which the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) ratified on March 21, 2014. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.