Moscow [Russia], June 8 (ANI): Russia on Monday decided to ban nine Canadian citizens from entering its territory indefinitely in response to Canadian sanctions imposed in March, said the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Russia imposed its travel ban on nine Canadian citizens including David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Anne Kelly, Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada, and Canadian Police Commissioner Brenda Lucki, reported Xinhua.
Marci Surkes, Director of Policy for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence, and Mike Rouleau, the Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces have also been named in the list.
Russia's sanctions also apply to Brian Brennan, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Canadian Admiral Scott Bishop, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Canada's Foreign Ministry said the punitive measures unveiled on Monday were unacceptable and unfounded.
"We remain deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia and the shrinking space for civil society and independent voices. We stand by these Canadians that have been targeted," it said in a statement.
The Russian ministry said it retaliated in response to the "unlawful sanctions" that Canada imposed against Russian citizens over the case of Alexei Navalny, reported Xinhua.
Canada on March 24 imposed new sanctions on nine Russian officials over "gross and systematic violations of human rights in Russia," prompting the Kremlin to vow a response.
Navalny, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, was arrested this year and sent to serve a 2-1/2-year jail term for parole violations related to an embezzlement conviction he says was fraudulent.
Navalny was detained on his return to Russia in January from Germany where he was treated for what German authorities concluded was poisoning in Russia with a banned nerve agent. The Kremlin says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned and that his jailing is not political. (ANI)