The Russian foreign ministry announced Tuesday it has added Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, and Defence Minister Anita Anand to what it calls its “black list,” banning them from entering Russia.
The other federal party leaders — interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, and Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May — have been told they can’t set foot on Russian soil.
Hundreds of MPs from all parties and leaders of various Ukrainian-Canadian groups — including Alexandra Chyczij, the president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) — have also been put on Russia’s black list.
The move is a response to Canada’s aggressive stance toward Russia following that country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Along with other Western powers, Canada has levied sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, his close political allies, senior government leaders, and the billionaire oligarchs who control Russian industry and other entities abroad.
Canada and allies like the U.K. also have led the charge to essentially disconnect Russian financial institutions from the global economy while restricting Russia’s exports and imposing steep tariffs on its imports.
The effects have been devastating for the Russian economy but Putin’s troops have only pushed further into Ukraine since the onset of sanctions and tariffs, shelling major cities and killing thousands.
In an address to Canada’s Parliament Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Trudeau and Canada for its contributions to this point — Canada has sent lethal aid, including ammunition. He also urged Canadian leaders to contribute to a no-fly zone to shut down Ukrainian airspace to Russian warplanes.
In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry said it was banning so many Canadians now because “official Ottawa” has “Russophobic rage.”
“This step is forced and taken in response to the outrageous hostility of the current Canadian regime, which has tested our patience for so long. Every Russophobic attack, be it attacks on Russian diplomatic missions, airspace closures, or Ottawa’s actual severing of bilateral economic ties to the detriment of Canadian interests, will inevitably receive a decisive and not necessarily symmetrical rebuff,” the ministry said in a Russian post.