A spokesperson for state-owned Rosneft said Wednesday that Canada's oil industry was on its deathbed and Canadian foreign policy was dictated by Ukrainian nationalists in a rebuttal to Ottawa after it included the oil giant in a new round of sanctions.
Since 2012, Rosneft has owned a share in the tight oil Cardium development project run by U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil in the Canadian province of Alberta.
"In Canada the [oil] industry is in a near-death condition. This was sanctions against the departed, and I don't mean Rosneft, I mean Canadian oil production," Rosneft spokesperson Mikhail Leontiev told the Russian News Service.
Canada expanded a list of individuals and entities it subjects to economic sanctions Tuesday in what it said was a response to increased aggression from Russian-backed militants in eastern Ukraine. Rosneft is already sanctioned by the United States and European Union.
"Canada is a country preoccupied with its Ukrainian diaspora, a large part of which are pro-banderites, that's well-known. There is a very strong lobby there," Leontiev told Russian News Service.
Stepan Bandera was a controversial 20th century Ukrainian nationalist who briefly allied with Nazi Germany during World War II in his fight against the Soviet Union. Russian state-run media commonly uses his name to refer to supporters of the government in Kiev.