Canada imposes new sanctions in response to deteriorating human rights situation in Russia

News release

March 24, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced new sanctions against 9 Russian officials under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations in response to gross and systematic violations of human rights in Russia.

Today’s announcement serves to highlight the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia and the shrinking space for civil society and independent voices there. The sanctions are part of a concerted diplomatic effort to bring pressure on senior figures in Russia’s administration involved in the attempted murder of Alexey Navalny, his subsequent prosecution, and the silencing of Russian citizens who protested his treatment with heavy-handed and often violent methods.  These actions are in line with measures previously taken by the European Union and the United States.

Russia’s ongoing treatment of Mr. Navalny continues to demonstrate its contempt for the rule of law and its willingness to violate the human rights of its people. Russia’s suppression of peaceful protests and its detention of over 10,000 protestors, highlight a continuing pattern that targets opposition voices and those it deems threatening.

Canada stands with the people of Russia in their quest to exercise their rights to freely express themselves and to gather peacefully without fearing reprisals. Canada will continue to work in a coordinated manner with allies and partners to prepare and implement effective and unified measures to condemn the worrying human rights trends in Russia.


“The Russian government has repeatedly shown its unwillingness to respect the basic rights of its own people and address concerns raised on multiple occasions by the international community. Alongside our partners, Canada will continue to increase pressure on the Russian government to unconditionally release Mr. Navalny and his supporters who have been unlawfully detained. Russia’s gross human rights violations will not go unanswered.”

- Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs

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Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
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