Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta is on the list of Canadian and international politicians banned from Russia.
And he’s okay with that.
He said his concerns focus on the innocent people being harmed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Canada needs to stand with our friends in Ukraine against Russian aggression,” he said. “I am not personally concerned about being banned from travelling to Russia; it’s a small price to pay for standing up for our friends. President Putin, on the other hand, should be worried that the world is turning against him.”
Van Popta echoes the sentiments of interim Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen.
“He has crossed lines that after two world wars we thought would never again be crossed and shaken the rules-based order that has kept millions safe since 1945,” Bergen said.
Van Popta said Putin is lying to the world, killing innocent Ukrainians and is a threat to the world and the free, democratic world.
Like Bergen, he wants to see the Russian leader held to account for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
According to Russia’s TASS news agency, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against countries and territories that have imposed sanctions against Russian companies and citizens, including U.S., Canada, the EU countries, Britain (including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar), Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, North Macedonia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Switzerland.
The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement about personal sanctions against “top officials, parliamentarians and anti-Russian figures in Canada” that Ottawa is in a “Russophobic rage.”
“This step is forced and taken in response to the outrageous hostility of the current Canadian regime, which has tested our patience for so long,” reads the statement. “Every Russophobic attack, be it attacks on Russian diplomatic missions, airspace closures, or Ottawa’s actual severing of bilateral economic ties to the detriment of Canadian interests, will inevitably receive a decisive and not necessarily symmetrical rebuff.”
The Russian government listed 313 Canadians, including politicians, such as van Popta and Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag, along with heads of Ukrainian organizations in Canada and others.
Aldag, a former Fort Langley National Historic Site head, admits he’s saddened that a culture rich with history has a leader who is doing so much harm in the world and instead of grandstanding such as the bans, Russia should focus on ending the war.
“I am not surprised with this announcement. While I am saddened to be banned from a country with a rich history and culture, I am more than proud to among those banned by Putin – a small sacrifice for standing up for Ukraine,” he said.
Aldag added that Canada will not stop calling for an end to “this illegal, unnecessary, and horrific war in Ukraine. Until then, we will continue our coordinated sanctions against Putin and his cronies in Russia and Belarus.”
The MP said he’s hopeful that the Russian war against Ukraine is stalling and will end “sooner rather than later.”
“We must not forget that Russia blatantly violated international law, Ukraine’s sovereignty, and is committing war crimes,” he added.
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