MOSCOW: Russia has reacted to Canada's imposing sanctions on 30 Russian officials linked to human rights violations by announcing "mirror-image" measures.
Canada on Friday banned and froze assets of 30 Russians linked to the case of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison after exposing a $230-million tax fraud.
"We have to respond with mirror-image (sanctions)," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement late Friday.
"If our Canadian partners like playing sanctions games, we will be forced to respond," Moscow said.
The ministry announced it had decided to "bar entry to Russia to a whole number of Canadian figures," adding that this affected "dozens."
It did not give any names but specified that those targeted are "Russophobic Canadian citizens who have consistently worked to destroy bilateral relations."
It warned that Canada must step away from a "destructive course, leading to further aggravation of bilateral relations."
Canada last month passed a "Sergei Magnitsky Law," which targets Russian officials for human rights violations.
This follows a Magnitsky Act passed by the United States which led to sanctions on more than 40 senior Russian officials.