Canada says Russian retaliatory sanctions 'concerning'

24th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

Canada expressed "concern" Monday after Russia announced retaliatory sanctions on senior Canadian government officials over the Ukraine crisis.

"Canadian officials named today by Russia aren't oligarchs or threatening to annex parts of peaceful neighbors by military force," a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told AFP.

"We find today's announcement concerning."

Moscow earlier slapped travel bans on 13 Canadian officials, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff and a top advisor on defense and foreign policy, and the speaker of the House of Commons.

This followed Canada's March 17 announcement of sanctions against seven Russian and three Crimean senior officials over the crisis in Ukraine.

Canada, with the world's third-largest population of ethnic Ukrainians, was the first Western power to recognize the ex-Soviet state's independence in 1991.

© 2014 AFP

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