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  • Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird announces backflip on sanctions on two Russian banks. (Photo: Reuters)

    Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird announces backflip on sanctions on two Russian banks. (Photo: Reuters)

Published 19 September 2014

The announcement was originally not made public, as government gloats about Ukraine being "thrilled with this government."

Canada has canceled the sanctions against the Russian banks, Expobank and RosEnergoBank which it imposed earlier this year.

The canceling of the sanctions comes at the same time as which additional sanctions on Russia were announced by the Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird on Tuesday, but went without mention at his press conference.  

The news came to light on Thursday, and Baird said in parliament that the government backflipped on the decision after further analysis was done.

"They are deemed to be sufficiently divorced from events in Ukraine and Russian aggression against Ukraine," he said.

He also defended Canada's sanction program, saying “That’s why the president of Ukraine is so thrilled with this government.”

“Canada is not a world leader, it is the world leader in terms of sanctioning the Putin government in Moscow,” he added.

The CEO of Expobank said in a statement that “We were sure that the inclusion of Expobank on this list was a misunderstanding and a mistake. We are glad this issue has been resolved successfully and quickly, and that this issue has been removed from the agenda,” according to Itar-Tass.

Opposition parliamentarian criticized the move, saying that "It's not very smart to put sanctions on, then remove them and say 'Whoops, we messed up.'"

He went on to say that even though Canada slapped sanctions on Russia, it was still protecting Russian tycoons who have close ties to President Putin, who also have business interests here in Canada."

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