Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

Moscow has again summoned Canada’s top diplomat to Russia, this time over the government’s seizure of a huge Russian cargo plane in Toronto.

Russia claims it summoned Canadian chargĂ© d’affaires Brian Ebel to tell him that Ottawa’s plans risked “the most serious repercussions”.

Two days ago, Moscow warned that relations with Canada were “on the verge of being severed” because of the Russian cargo plane affair.

And three months ago, the Kremlin had summoned the same Canadian diplomat over comments made by Foreign Minister MĂ©lanie Joly on possible regime change in Russia.

During a surprise visit to Kiev, Ukraine, last weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada had officially seized the cargo plane that has been parked on the tarmac at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport since the Russian invasion began in February 2022. Ottawa is now preparing to transfer the aircraft, or its value, to the Ukrainian government.

In an English-language statement released on Thursday, Moscow says the move “amounts to an outright theft attempt” and that the plane has been “seized in a shameful manner”.

A year ago, Canada became the first G7 country to enact a law that allows Ottawa not only to seize assets held by individuals targeted by sanctions, but also to confiscate these assets and divert their proceeds to victims of a regime targeted by sanctions.

The law has never been used, but Trudeau said Ottawa plans to begin the process of confiscating the huge Antonov AN-124, owned by Russian airline Volga-Dnepr, and using the plane to support Ukraine.

By admin