Ottawa, July 8, 2022 (AFP) – Canada announced on Friday a new battery of sanctions against Russia that includes the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, and other figures who Ottawa says are making the promoting misinformation.
The measure was quickly denounced by the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, for whom “sanctions against the patriarch can only be decided by Satanists”.
Britain last month also introduced sanctions against the 75-year-old cleric, two weeks after the EU removed him from its own sanctions list in reaction to Hungarian opposition.
The patriarch is a strong supporter of President Vladimir Putin and has supported his military campaign in Ukraine.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced the new sanctions at a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Bali.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has abandoned the ongoing negotiations at this meeting, due to criticism from Western powers towards the Kremlin.
The new Canadian package targets 29 people accused of being “state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda agents”, as well as 15 Russian government-controlled entities “involved in disinformation efforts”, according to an official statement.
Also on the list is Sumbatovich Gasparyan, director of the international department of the RT communications vehicle, controlled by the Kremlin and blocked in March by Canada.
“The Russian propaganda machine must answer for its lies. Today we make it clear to those who traffic in deception: you will be held accountable,” Joly stressed.
The latest announcement brings to more than 1,150 the total number of individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus affected by Canadian sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
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