MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the foreign affairs committee at the upper house of the Russian parliament, has denounced the Canadian decision to blacklist Russian officials as aggression against his country.
"It is an openly hostile act by one state against another, which deserves at least a mirrored response," Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page late on Friday.
Canada has imposed sanctions on 30 Russians who were allegedly linked to $230-million tax fraud discovered by Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2008. Russia has responded by banning entry for dozens of Canadians.
"We are hoping that the political circles in Canada will finally see daylight, and they will abandon the disastrous course leading to further aggravation of bilateral relations," spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary posted on the ministry's website.
"If the Canadian partners like to play sanctions games, we will be forced to respond, although we certainly prefer the way of constructive interaction on issues that are important for the people of both countries," Zakharova added.