Canada imposes new sanctions on Russian officials over treatment of opposition leader

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OTTAWA — Canada is imposing new sanctions on nine senior Russian officials in response to what Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau describes as gross and systemic human-rights abuses in the country.

That includes the Russian government's treatment of key opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was the target of an assassination attempt last year — an accusation that Russian authorities have rejected.

Navalny survived that attack but was sentenced by a Russian court last month to more than two years in prison on what observers have said are politically motivated charges.

Garneau says the sanctions are also a response to Russian officials having detained thousands of protesters in recent weeks.

The new sanctions announced today come more than three weeks after the U.S. and European Union imposed similar economic restrictions in response to the treatment of Navalny and Russia's human-rights situation.

Among those sanctioned by Canada are two senior officials in Russian President Vladimir Putin's office as well as the head of Russia's security service, its prosecutor general and the head of its penitentiary system.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press