MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will impose economic sanctions against Canadian companies if Ottawa sanctions Russian banks, the Russian ambassador to Canada said in an interview with Bloomberg.
“If the Canadian government or NATO will do something crazy – imposing sanctions against our banks – we will certainly have to reciprocate,” Georgiy Mamedov said.
“If it will affect Canadian transactions in Moscow, we will be sorry. But it will not be our initiative,” he added.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier said that Ottawa could impose sanctions targeting Russian banks.
On Tuesday, Moscow expelled the first secretary of the Canadian embassy in Moscow in response to the recent expulsion of a staff member of the Russian embassy in Ottawa, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti. “This step has been taken in response to a recent expulsion of an aide to the Russian military attaché in Ottawa," the official said.
Relations between Russia and Canada have soured amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Last month, Canada joined the US in imposing targeted sanctions on several Russian officials.
In February, the Ukrainian parliament backed by far-right movements ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25.
Moscow has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a military seizure of power, which resulted in it taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine, including the reunification with Crimea.