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Updated: Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:06:27 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Russia imposes sanctions on 13 Canadian officials



House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer stands during question period in the House of Commons Thursday March 28, 2013 in Ottawa. Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer stands during question period in the House of Commons Thursday March 28, 2013 in Ottawa. Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin has imposed retaliatory sanctions on 13 Canadian officials including five members of the Conservative government, two Liberals and one NDP MP, banning them from entering Russia.

In a statement issued today, Russia's foreign ministry said the sanctions are being imposed "as a response to the unacceptable actions of the Canadian side."

Russia's retaliatory sanctions come just as G7 leaders are preparing to meet in The Hague for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has hinted that Russia ought to be expelled from the group of G8, will be at the meeting led by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is currently in The Hague with Harper, where the two are currently taking part in the Nuclear Security Summit.

"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 Adam Hodge, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, in a statement to CBC News.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, during a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, denounced Russia's military action in Crimea saying that Canada was right to stand up to Russia.

"This is the most abject breach of international law we've seen in a long time and the Russian Federation has to change its tune on this one. If not, the world community will come together and start imposing far more consequential sanctions than what's been put in to date," Mulcair said.

Here is the list of 13 Canadian officials barred from travelling to Russia.

- Christine Hogan, foreign affairs and defence policy adviser to the prime minister.

- Wayne G.Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council.

- Jean-Francois Tremblay, deputy secretary to the cabinet in the Privy Council Office.

- Andrew Scheer, House of Commons speaker.

- Peter Van Loan, government house leader.

- Raynell Andreychuk, Conservative senator.

- Dean Allison, Conservative MP.

- Paul Dewar, NDP MP.

- Irwin Cotler, Liberal MP.

- Ted Opitz, Conservative MP.

- Chrystia Freeland, Liberal MP.

- James Bezan, Conservative MP.

- Paul Grod, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Several MPs saw their names on Russia's sanctions list as "a badge of honour," including Cotler who had been expelled from the Soviet Union in 1979.

The Liberal MP went on to say "I did not stop fighting for human rights then, nor will I stop now."

Bezan, who serves as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence Rob Nicholson, also saw it that way.

Freeland, a Ukrainian-Canadian, who recently visited Kyiv also took to Twitter ti say she was proud to have made the list.

Senator Andreychuk, a former judge and representative at the United Nations, led Canada's 500-member mission to help monitor Ukraine's elections in 2012. She raised concerns at the time about how balloting and vote-counting was conducted.

Other MPs such as Allison and Dewar are permanent members of the Commons committee on foreign affairs and international development.

The committee is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

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