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    Russia bans entry of dozens of Canadians in response to sanctions

    Moscow has barred dozens of Canadian nationals from entering Russia in retaliation for similar Canadian sanctions.
    “We are forced to act in a mirror-like manner. Based on the principle of reciprocity, it was decided to ban entry to the Russian Federation of a number of Canadian individuals. The list is long, there are dozens of names in it,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a commentary posted on the ministry’s website on Friday.
    “Russophobic individuals who intend to destroy bilateral relations between the two countries are the targets,” Zakharova said.
    The diplomat called on the Canadian side to quit playing “sanctions games” and take the path of constructive interaction.
    “We expect that the political circles of Canada will have an epiphany and abandon the disastrous course leading to further aggravation of bilateral relations,” she said.
    Earlier on Friday, Canada imposed sanctions against 30 Russian officials suspected of being linked to the prison death of Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009, who was jailed after alleging a massive tax fraud.
    The measures — which freeze the assets of the officials and bar them from visiting Canada — were enacted through a new law giving the government the right to penalize those it says are guilty of human rights violations, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
    Among those targeted are Alexander Bastrykin, Russia’s top investigator and a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The United States blacklisted him in January 2017, citing Magnitsky’s death.
    “Today’s announcement sends a clear message that Canada will take action against individuals who have profited from acts of significant corruption or who have been involved in gross violations of human rights,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
    Source(s): Reuters, Xinhua News Agency

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