The Ottawa-hosted ministerial meeting was held on Monday. Sputnik was denied accreditation to the event. When asked by Sputnik to explain the decision, the Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman Richard Walker said that it was made because the agency "hasn't been cordial" with Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland in the past.
“In Canada, they have officially said that they [Sputnik journalists] were denied access to the meeting in Venezuela because our correspondent had not been kind enough to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The entire editorial board has tried for a long time to understand and find out what happened, what the incident was — and we have not found or remembered anything. Perhaps it was because of the critical articles published by us on Canada’s foreign policy, which probably offends the minister … The most critical thing we have found was that one of our authors wrote that Canada became a 51st US state, which largely is fair,“ Simonyan told the Rossiya 1 broadcaster.
“We wrote that you should be ashamed to behave like 51st state,” the editor-in-chief underlined, saying that it was the most offending thing that Sputnik had written about Ottawa.
On Sunday, Venezuela-based Telesur broadcaster said it had been similarly denied access to the Lima Group meeting by the Canadian government, which did not provide any reasoning behind the move.