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Russia bans entry to 13 Canadian lawmakers, officials

ABOVE: Russia has targeted prominent Canadians with a travel ban even as the Prime Minister is in the Netherlands, urging the G8 to expel Russia from it’s ranks. Global’s Mike Le Couteur has the story. 

LATEST UPDATES:

  • Russia bans entry to 13 Canadian lawmakers and officials in retaliation for Canadian sanctions
  • PM Stephen Harper to urge G7 colleagues to go tougher on Vladimir Putin
  • Canada, the U-S and Europe have all condemned the aggression
  • Russia completed its annexation of Crimea last week
TORONTO – Russia has banned 13 prominent Canadians entry in retaliation for Canadian-imposed travel bans and economic sanctions on multiple Russian officials over Ukraine.

WATCH: Russia sanctioned MPs will not be deterred by their support for Ukraine

The 13 officials and lawmakers include House leader Peter Van Loan, Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, and Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.

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The ten other Canadian officials are:

  • Christine Hogan (assistant secretary to the cabinet)
  • Wayne G. Wouters (clerk of privy council)
  • Jean-Francois Tremblay (deputy secretary to the cabinet)
  • Raynell Andreychuk (Conservative senator). (Editor’s note: A previous version incorrectly listed Andreychuk as an independent Liberal senator. This has been corrected).
  • Dean Allison (chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development)
  • Paul Dewar (official opposition critic for Foreign Affairs)
  • Paul Grod (national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress)
  • Ted Opitz (conservative MP who accompanied Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to meet with the government of Ukraine early March)
  • James Bezan (conservative MP who accompanied Baird to meet with the government of Ukraine early March)
  • Christia Freeland (liberal MP, attended a rally in support of Ukraine March 20)

The Russians have called the Canadian sanctions unacceptable, and said they have inflicted serious damage on relations between the two countries.

Baird replied to the list with a statement saying Canada and its G7 partners have “spoken with one voice” to condemn Putin’s intervention in Ukraine.

“Canadian officials named today by Russia aren’t oligarchs or threatening to annex parts of peaceful neighbours by military force. We find today’s announcement concerning,” said Baird, who added Canada will continue to cooperate with G7 partners and other allies.

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Thomas Mulcair: Canada is right to stand up to Putin

Ukraine government orders troop pullout from Crimea, annexed by Russia

Ukraine is ordering its troops out of Crimea as Russian troops consolidate control over the annexed peninsula.

Russian forces have been systematically seizing Ukrainian ships and military installations — including a naval base near an eastern Crimean port.

Two wounded servicemen were taken captive Monday.

Harper to urge G7 colleagues to go tougher on Vladimir Putin

Stephen Harper is expected to urge Russia’s expulsion from the G8 for its aggression in the Crimean Peninsula during an emergency G7 summit Monday.

READ MORE: Harper to urge G7 to go tougher on Putin

The prime minister is the only G7 leader who’s personally witnessed the devastation in Kyiv and spoken face-to-face with Ukraine’s new leadership.

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He’ll give a first-hand account of what he saw and heard in Ukraine over the weekend when he meets his G7 colleagues at the Dutch prime minister’s official residence in this pristine European capital.

John Baird:Russian-imposed travel bans on Canadian officials are “a badge of honour”

Russia completed its annexation of Crimea last week

Russia completed its annexation of Crimea last week, after its troops took control over the Ukrainian region following the ouster of a Kremlin-friendly government in Kyiv.

Moscow says its absorption of Crimea has been rendered legitimate by a referendum held earlier this month in which the bulk of voters in the peninsula approved the move, but the process has come under sustained criticism from the international community.

The West has levelled a raft of sanctions against Russia for its moves in Crimea that have been hailed by some, but criticized as not going far enough by others.

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