CANADA REBUFFS THINLY-VEILED OVERTURE FROM RUSSIA ON FREELAND

Jan 11, 2017

By Michael Kramer

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A rebuff from Canada – to the Kremlin’s comments that it might be willing to lift a travel ban on new Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland – if Canada eases sanctions on Russia.

Joseph Pickerill, Freeland’s spokesman, says Canada won’t be playing any games of “quid pro quo” on the subject.

This comes after the Russian news agency Sputnik reported that the country wanted to improve relations with Canada – and end the “sanctions war” between the two countries.

But the report suggests that it’s up to Ottawa to make the first move.

Freeland replaces Stephane Dion as Canada’s top diplomat.

She is among a dozen Canadians placed on a Russian sanctions list in 2014 – as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tit-for-tat response to Western sanctions following Russian-backed military incursions into Crimea.

Freeland is a former journalist based in Moscow. She has called Putin an authoritarian, an autocrat and “really dangerous.”

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