Sources confirm that Russia has issued a notice to expel a Canadian diplomat from Moscow, in response to an earlier move by Canada to oust a Russian military attaché earlier this month over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Reports claim that Canada’s First Secretary of the immigration section at the Canadian Embassy in the Russian capital, Margarita Atanasov, has been asked to leave Russia within 14 days.
The notice for Atanasov to leave Russia has come almost two weeks after Canada expelled assistant military attaché Lieut.-Col. Yury Bezler from Ottawa. According to an analyst “it’s not uncommon to see this sort of tit-for-tat, one-for-one.” Upon inquiry about Russia’s move to expel Atanasov, Russia’s ambassador to Canada, Georgiy Mamedov, replied that “because first it was our guy who was expelled from Ottawa.” Mamedov made these remarks while reporters followed him after he delivered a speech at the Empire Club in Toronto. He said “it’s a response.”
Meanwhile, Canada has already announced a series of sanctions on Moscow over the last several weeks in response to Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine. In addition to that, Canada also cancelled previously scheduled joint military and economic programs with Russia, while also expelling Russian soldiers that were receiving training here. Meanwhile, the Canadian government has announced to send six CF-18 jet fighters to join NATO’s operations in Eastern Europe along with 20 military personnel to the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
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