The Canadian Parliament is considering a bill to make the so-called Magnitsky List, which blacklists persons allegedly linked to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky from entering Canada, the Parliament said on its website.
Magnitsky was arrested and jailed without trial in November 2008, and died in police custody a year later after being denied medical care. The 37-year-old lawyer was working for Hermitage Capital Management, a British-based investment fund, when he accused tax and police officials of carrying out a $230-million tax scam.
In July 2011, the U.S. State Department banned visas for about 60 Russian officials over their involvement in the detention and death of Magnitsky.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich condemned the Canadian bill, saying it amounted to interference in Russia's internal affairs.
"We expect that Canadian lawmakers will demonstrate reason and refrain from such unfriendly acts. But if they decide to forego good sense, that will not of course be left without an appropriate response from our side," Lukashevich said.
Last week Lukashevich had announced introduction of a list of U.S. citizens who would be banned from entry into Russia. "We, of course, have not left the political provocation against our country unanswered. On the principle of reciprocity, we have confirmed a list of U.S. citizens whose entry into the Russian Federation is undesirable," Lukashevich said.
Lukashevich said in a statement the list contains "high-ranking Washington officials tied to crimes in the humanitarian sphere."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasized, however, that the individuals featured in the list will not be officially released.