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Russia Criticizes Canadian Sanctions and Hints at Possible Response

Canada's new sanctions come a week after the European Union agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia by another six months.

Russia expressed disappointment on Tuesday over new sanctions imposed by Canada over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis and warned that it would respond.

"The new sanctions will only add negativity to Russian-Canadian relations which are already not going through their best times because of Ottawa," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. "Of course, this attack will not go unanswered."

Canada announced economic sanctions on Monday against Russian firms including natural gas giant Gazprom, as well as the United Aircraft Corporation and the Tula Arms Plant, which makes military hardware for the Russian Defense Ministry.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement Monday that until the conflict in eastern Ukraine is peacefully resolved, “there must be ongoing consequences for President [Vladimir] Putin's regime.”

Alongside energy and defense companies, Canada also moved to sanction Russian ultra-nationalist biker gang the Night Wolves. The gang and their outspoken leader, Alexander Zaldostanov — nicknamed “The Surgeon” — are vocal supporters and personal friends of Putin's.

Canada's new sanctions come a week after the European Union agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia by another six months. Russia in response prolonged its ban on food imports from European nations imposing sanctions on Moscow by another year.

(Reuters, MT)

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