Canada sanctions more Russian officials in response to death of opposition leader

OTTAWA — Canada's foreign affairs minister has announced another round of sanctions against the Russian government, which she says are in response to last month's death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and Russia’s "continued gross and systematic violations of human rights."

Mélanie Joly announced the sanctions in a statement released early Sunday morning, which says the measures will be imposed on six Russian senior officials and high-ranking employees of its prosecution, judicial and correctional services. The statement says they were involved in the violation of Navalny’s "human rights, his cruel punishment and ultimately, his death.

"Navalny, 47, was roundly considered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s greatest political foe.

During a visit to Ukraine late last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Putin of "executing" Navalny, who died unexpectedly a week earlier in the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a 19-year sentence.

The Kremlin has rejected allegations that Putin was involved in Navalny's death, calling them “absolutely unfounded, insolent accusations about the head of the Russian state.”

Joly says Russia must conduct a full and transparent inquiry into the death of Navalny, whom she called "a voice of hope for the Russian people, as well as a voice for freedom, justice, democracy and a better future for Russia."

Canada announced sanctions on Feb. 23 against 10 more Russian officials and businessmen and 153 entities, in co-ordination with the United States and the United Kingdom.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press