The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Canada strongly supports the decision made by the United States and the European Union on the adoption of sanctions against Russian officials responsible for the arbitrary detention, prosecution and attempted assassination of Alexey Navalny using a chemical weapon. It is important to note that two of the four individuals targeted by the European Union have already been sanctioned by Canada.

“The sanctions announced today by the U.S. and EU are part of an important and incisive diplomatic effort to end impunity for those responsible for gross human rights violations in Russia, including those committed against Mr. Navalny and his supporters in the exercise of their basic democratic rights.

“The Russian government has violated a constitutional obligation to its citizens and obligations under international law, including access to fair and impartial treatment under the law. We call on Russian authorities to immediately release Mr. Navalny and all those detained for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and of assembly.

“Mr. Navalny’s ongoing persecution, along with an unwillingness to adequately investigate his poisoning, further contributes to the deterioration of the rule of law in Russia  and underscores the political motivations behind his imprisonment.

“Canada will continue to work with its international partners and through multilateral organizations to apply pressure on Russia to bring to justice to those responsible for these human rights violations, for the reprehensible treatment of Mr. Navalny and for the use of chemical weapons.”