Russia’s diplomats have criticized and condemned Canada’s decision to sanction individuals of Russian descent accused of corruption and abuse of human rights.
On Friday 3rd of November, Canadian parliament passed a law to impose sanctions on 52 people among them 30 Russian nationals who had been accused of tax fraud by Sergei Magnitsky.
Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer, and an accountant was arraigned in court and charged in Moscow for what was alleged to be tax evasion.
“The decision to extend sanctions against Russian nationals under the guise of being on the forefront of protecting human rights is pointless and reprehensible,” read a statement from the Russian embassy in light of the sanctions.
The Russian embassy through its statement accused Canada of allowing Bill Browder, a hedge fund manager, to strong arm them. Bill, a client of Magnitsky, was said to have lobbied European governments to pass laws that target corrupt individuals and the directive was mainly aimed at individuals of Russian origin.
The Russian government argued that this Bill is not in a position to lobby Western governments because someone has committed tax fraud offenses in the past.
“Canada is isolating itself to please anti-Russian lobby groups while playing into the hands of an international fraudster whose sole aim is to sponsor his vendetta,” remarked the Russian government in a statement.
The statement further read, “This brings Canada’s foreign policy into question.”
Russia, in turn, responded by restricting Canadian citizens from entering Russia.
The statement from the Russian government further read, “Any further Canadian sanctions would prompt an imminent response that will be reciprocal in terms of both quantity and quality.”
The Russian government sentiments were echoed by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mikhail Zakharova.
The minister remarked, “Magnitsky law is anti-Russian, and I hope the Canadian leaders will come to their senses.”