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August 6th, 2014

Conservatives shield Russian business elite from sanctions

Toothless sanctions are out of step with Canada’s closest allies

Canada’s expanded sanctions against Russia continue to shield three Russian tycoons with reportedly significant business ties with Canada. Stephen Harper has once again left out Sergei Chemezov, Igor Sechin and Vladimir Yakunin who have been sanctioned by other countries including the United States.

“With these Conservatives, rhetoric is limitless, but actions are weak,” said NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa-Centre). “What’s the point of Canadian sanctions if you leave out the people and entities that can be most impacted by them?”

The three business magnates left off Canada’s sanctions have close ties with President Putin. Sergey Chemezov runs military corporation Rostec, Igor Sechin is CEO of oil company Rosneft and Vladimir Yakunin is the president of Russian Railways.

“Conservatives are allowing our foreign policy to be shaped by short-term commercial interests,” said NDP’s deputy foreign affairs critic Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Ste-Marie). “The inconsistency between their hot rhetoric and their half-measures is making Canada irrelevant.”