MOSCOW, March 24 (RAPSI) – 13 high-ranking Canadian officials, lawmakers, and public figures have been banned from entering Russia in connection with reciprocal sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Monday.
Christine Hogan, Foreign & Defense Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister; Wayne G. Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet; Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons; and Senator Raynell Andreychuk are among those that have been blacklisted.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper claimed on March 17 that his country had imposed economic sanctions and placed entry limits against top Russian and Crimean officials. The following day, it was officially announced that 10 individuals had been placed on the Canadian sanctions list, including Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, and other politicians and lawmakers.
Reciprocal sanctions followed after Crimea’s leadership refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government in Ukraine that came to power following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich last month. A referendum was held that saw voters overwhelmingly support secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia.
Last Friday, President Vladimir Putin officially signed into law bills on the reunification of the Crimean peninsula and Sevastopol with Russia. Putin asserted that the referendum was held in accordance with international law and UN Charter.
The US and EU imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials, including visa bans and asset freezes, in protest of Russia's support of Crimea's actions.