In an interview held in Russian, Oleg Stepanov, the Russian ambassador to Canada living in Ottawa, claimed that Canada isn’t safe for Russian citizens to visit, according to a report from CTV News.
“Canada today is a very dangerous country for Russian citizens,” Oleg Stepanov said. “I would not recommend it for tourism, education or business.”
Despite the warning, Stepanov conceded that Canadian citizens in general treat Russians well.
Moscow’s travel advisory for Canada explains that there are street gangs and a “rather harsh climate.”
CTV News also explained that Stepanov had explained that he thought Canada kept sanctioning Russians as an arbitrary response to the Russo-Ukrainian war. He claimed that Russians are facing constant bouts of racism and discrimination while claiming there were daily protests happening outside of the Russian embassy in Ottawa, as well as its consulates in Montreal and Toronto.
Stepanov criticized an effort from the Canadian government to seize $26 million of assets belonging to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.
Though the Canadian government has yet to even file the application for the seizure, Stepanov argued that the “idea amounts to an attack on property rights.”
Stepanov added that Russia has been trying to open a consulate in Vancouver, but they have not received any help. He said that Russia is open to dialogue with Canada if it stops enforcing policies similar to that of the U.S.
Canada, on the other hand, has stated that it will only change its stance when Russia ends its invasion of Ukraine and compensates for the damage it caused.